The Star Wars star broke down in tears before delivering an impassioned speech to thousands in Hyde Park.
John Boyega says he might not have a career after taking a stand — and he doesn't care.
The Star Wars actor joined thousands of people marching in London on Wednesday, as the English capital joined the many cities across the world protesting against systemic racism, sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.
Taking to a megaphone amid the throngs of people gathered at Hyde Park, the 28-year-old had to take a moment to steady his tears before delivering an impassioned speech.
"Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time," he roared. "I ain't waiting. I ain't waiting!"
In footage shared to Instagram by protest organizer Naomi Smith, Boyega called for the protection of black women, and to stop "demonizing our own".
"We need to take care of them. They're ours, they are our hearts, they are our future," he said.
“Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting,” @johnboyega just told #BlackLivesMatter protesters in London’s Hyde Park pic.twitter.com/P49cbwIp6P
"We are the pillars of the family. Imagine this: a nation that is set up with individual families that are thriving, that are healthy, that communicate, that raise their children in love. Have a better rate of becoming better human beings."
As the protest moved from the park across the streets of London, Boyega marched with them, calling the names of those who have fallen beneath the boot of systemic racism.
"Every black person here remembered when another person reminded you that you were black… I need you to understand how painful this shit is," he screamed. "I need you to understand how painful it is to be reminded every day that your race means nothing."
"And that isn't the case any more. That is never the case any more. We are going to try today, we are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd. For Sandra Bland. For Trayvon Martin. For Stephen Lawrence."
He added: "I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but f--k that."
"We stand. We walk. It's not about career. It's not about money. It's about your right to live as a human being."
The march was also protesting the death of British railway worker Belly Mujinga, who died of coronavirus after being spat and coughed on by a man claiming to be infected; he was released without charge after police determined he was not to blame.
Many of Boyega's impressed Hollywood peers quelled any fears he had for his career, with Jordan Peele, Cathy Yan, and Matthew A Cherry, as well as his Star Wars co-star Mark Hamill, all tweeting their support.
Boyega has long been an outspoken and unreserved champion of anti-racism on social media; his efforts have only intensified in the wake of George Floyd's death, whose neck was knelt on by Officer Derek Chauvin for almost nine minutes over an alleged fake $20 note.
On Wednesday, the third-degree murder charge leveled at Chauvin was upgraded to second-degree murder, while the other three officers involved in the arrest — Thomas Lane, J.A. Keung and Tou Thao — were newly charged with aiding and abetting the homicide.