A new wave of protests, which escalated into clashes between protesters and police, took place tonight in a number of American cities.
The demonstrations began peacefully, but continued with blockades of streets and intersections, caused fires, shattered windows and led to clashes with police in many places. The pentagon took an unusual step, saying he was ready to send the army within four hours if the governor of Minnesota asked to deal with the riots.
The introduction of curfew did not reduce the tension that erupted after African-American George Floyd was killed in an incident with a white police officer.
There were clashes in Minneapolis for the fifth night in a row. Demonstrations also took place in New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, Denver, Oregon, Portland and Chicago, and curfews were also introduced in the last four cities. The demonstrations affected a total of 30 cities.
“I can’t breathe,” protesters chanted, the last words Floyd said in a video showing him failing to catch his breath, and the protesters were not just African-Americans. Officer Douglas Chovin, who was fired and charged with manslaughter, will face trial tomorrow.
The picture of protesters filling the streets of major American cities fuels a sense of crisis in the country after weeks of isolation imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, during which millions of people lost their jobs and minorities were disproportionately affected, Reuters and BTA reported. The BBC notes that another in a series of killings of African Americans in police incidents has unleashed dissatisfaction with socio-economic inequality and segregation, including in Minneapolis itself.
From New York to Los Angeles
In the capital Washington Hundreds of protesters chanted in front of the Ministry of Justice: “The lives of people of color have meaning.”
In the state Minnesotawhere Minneapolis is located, authorities mobilized 13,000 National Guard troops and asked the defense ministry for help in dealing with local protesters. U.S. Gov. Tim Waltz said outside elements, who could be anarchists but also white supremacists or drug traffickers, are causing the protests to escalate into violence.
Trump himself said that this was caused by small groups of criminals and vandals, by extreme leftists and anti-fascists, and called for the destruction of American cities by such people.
IN Los Angeles protesters clashed with police in the Fairfax neighborhood, where they tried to break into the offices of CBS Television City. They then raided Grove Mall and shops on the famous Rodeo Drive in affluent Beverly Hills. Mayor Eric Garnett described it as vandalism and destruction.
IN new York there were protests in Harlem, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, which escalated into real chaos at night. Demonstrators smashed windows, threw objects at police, set fire to police cars, and blocked roads with trash cans. Even in Manhattan, shops were broken into and goods were stolen. At least 15 police cars were destroyed and at least 120 people were arrested in the city. Mayor Bill De Blasio said the riots were sparked by agitators who did not represent the city and were deliberately trying to incite violence against police.
It was also the second day of protests in Atlanta, despite curfew and the state of emergency in part of the city. However, there were no incidents such as the clashes in front of the CNN headquarters the night before.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden condemned the violence during the protests, but added that he continued to support the reason why people came out to protest, namely Floyd’s death. He described this reason as a just cause.