Sixth Day of US Demonstrations Protesting the Killing of George Floyd

While the rubble of the previous day’s unrest was still being cleared, with some isolated acts of violence and crime during peaceful protests largely sparked by the killings of African-Americans by the police as a regular practice, on Sunday a new round of massive protests sparked all over the United Stated. From Boston to San Francisco, outraged by the assassination of African-American George Floyd on Monday at the hands of a white police officer, they took to the streets again.

Some cities closed the streets and imposed curfews after days of turmoil. People looted stores in broad daylight in Philadelphia and Santa Monica, and a tanker truck rammed a crowd that blocked a highway in Minneapolis. The protesters got into the truck, and the police came to clear the road and save the driver — who later was found to have a history of domestic violence.

The protests quickly spread across the country, registering in dozens of cities. Peaceful police and protesters alike called for an end to the violence, arguing that it only harms the cause and hinders demands for justice and reform.

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Protesters near the White House, May 31, 2020 Alex Brandon / AP

The scale of the protests, from coast to coast and in a single night, rivals the historical demonstrations that took place in the times of the struggle for civil rights and the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s.

Around 5,000 National Guard agents were deployed in 15 states and in the capital, and at least 40 cities, in addition to Washington DC, imposed curfews in response to outbreaks of violence, while in Arizona, Texas and Virginia a state of emergency was called to authorize a more effective and powerful response, generating many reports of police repression, many of them reported on social media.

To better understand the scale of the protests, below is the list of states/cities where the curfew is in effect followed by a map prepared by the NYT making clear the scope of this unprecedented rebellion:

  • Arizona (curfew in the entire territory decreed for a week)
  • California (Los Angeles County, San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, West
  • Hollywood, San Jose)
  • Colorado (Denver)
  • D.C.
  • Florida (Miami, Orange County, Jacksonville, Orlando)
  • Georgia (Atlanta)
  • Illinois (Chicago)
  • Indiana (Indianapolis)
  • Kentucky (Louisville)
  • Michigan (Detroit)
  • Minnesota (Minneapolis, Saint Paul)
  • Missouri (Kansas City)
  • New Jersey (Atlantic City)
  • New York (Rochester)
  • Ohio (Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo)
  • Oregon (Portland, Eugene)
  • Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pittsburgh)
  • South Carolina (Charleston, Columbia, Myrtle Beach)
  • Tennessee (Nashville)
  • Texas (Dallas, San Antonio)
  • Utah (Salt Lake City)
  • Virginia (Richmond)
  • Washington (Seattle)
  • Wisconsin (Milwaukee, Madison)

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In Minneapolis local and state police, and the National Guard took to the streets shortly after the curfew took effect at 8:00 p.m. Saturday (local time) to disperse the crowd. The deployment of force took place after three days in which the police avoided, for the most part, confrontations with protesters, and after the state ordered the deployment of more than 4,000 National Guard personnel in the city. Authorities reported that the number would rise to almost 11,000.

La Mesa (California, USA), May 31, 2020. Gregory Bull / AP

President Donald Trump demanded the stricter tactics, praising the deployment of the National Guard in Minneapolis, noting that the New York City Police “should be allowed to do their job.”

The outrage at the racism that led to riots, looting and vandalism added to a series of recent deaths that fueled discontent.

Three months before Floyd’s death, Ahmaud Arbery was shot dead while jogging through a Georgia neighborhood. A father and his son, both white, face charges for that case but were only filled after the public uproar caused by the release of video of the killing.

A month before Arbery’s murder, anti-drug police in Louisville, Kentucky shot EMS worker Breonna Taylor eight times on the doorstep of her home. No drugs were found at her residence.

Rylie Blue with a banner at the Black Lives Matter March in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, May 31, 2020.William Glasheen / The Post-Crescent / AP

Featured image: Thousands of protests over racism and police brutality have been held across the US and spread globally in reaction to the death of George Floyd in Minnesota (Picture: Getty)

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Translated and edited by JRE/EF