A speech by Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has gone viral as protests continue to cause chaos and destruction across the city.

The mayor delivered a passionate speech urging protesters to "go home" and telling them that "this is not a protest, this is chaos". She also told them they are not honouring the memory of Martin Luther King nor the memory of George Floyd, whose death sparked the protests.

"I am a mother to four black children in America, one of whom is 18 years old. And when I saw the murder of George Floyd, I hurt like a mother would hurt," she said.

"And yesterday when I heard there were rumours about violent protests in Atlanta, I did what a mother would do, I called my son and I said, 'Where are you?' I said, 'I cannot protect you and black boys shouldn't be out today.'"

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"So, you're not going to out-concern me and out-care about where we are in America," the mayor continued. "I wear this each and every day, and I pray over my children, each and every day."

Bottoms spoke at a news conference on the protests, where she was joined by local Atlanta hip hop artists, civil rights activists and law enforcement officials.

"If you want change in America, go and register to vote. Show up at the polls on June 9. Do it in November. That is the change we need in this country.

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"You are disgracing our city, you are disgracing the life of George Floyd and every single person that has been killed in this country."

"Go home," she told protesters.

Thousands of protesters are out in multiple cities across America, including Atlanta.

Earlier in the day, Atlanta police chief Erika Shields, who stood behind the mayor during the press conference, said in an interview that she understood the protesters' anger.

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"Black men are routinely killed, whether it's by police or other individuals, the reality of it is we've diminished the value on their life ... of course people are upset," she said.