Curfew, troops in the capital, Trump in the bunker: protests and pogroms in the US do not stop
Sunday, May 31, was the sixth day of street protests in many US cities, whose participants expressed outrage at the death of George Floyd and called for a change. Meanwhile, police in many cities are trying to enforce night curfews, writes "Voice of America".
About 40 cities, including Los Angeles, Miami, Detroit, and Philadelphia, banned street demonstrations after dark. Texas and Virginia governors impose a state of emergency.
In the wake of the protests that swept the state and the country, the California Department of Human Resources issued a directive to close all state-owned buildings "with offices in city centers" on June 1. A wide range of services fall under this large-scale requirement - from the offices of the Department of Motor Vehicles to institutions licensing workers and providing medical services.
The directive was sent in the evening of May 31, but the decision about which buildings to close was left to the discretion of the management of specific departments.
The Department of Justice sent out a memorandum to its employees stating that the attorney general’s offices in Sacramento, Auckland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego will be closed, but employees who can work from home should work in this manner. In the memorandum, employees were not allowed to appear at work “for no reason”.
This is Santa Monica, Los Angeles right now.
Hundreds of protesters raise their fists and kneel in silence for George Floyd.
- Sarah Abdallah (@sahouraxo) June 1, 2020
The decision was made after the National Guard soldiers lined up the steps of the Los Angeles City Hall and several California cities imposed a curfew to avoid new violence - similar to what happened earlier when the rampaging demonstrators set fire to police cars, burst into shops and entered clashes with officers.
- ༺ ANASTASIA ༻ (@goodkarmavibes) May 2, 2017
Mayors of some major cities, including San Francisco Mayor Landon Brides, said curfews were imposed indefinitely.
In more than 20 cities, thieves rushed into stores and fled with what they could carry with them - boxes with sneakers, armfuls of clothes, cell phones and televisions.
In San Diego, the protest took an ominous turn a few hours after the start. Police said she used tear gas to disperse the mob that threw stones and bottles at the guard.
From a livestream in San Diego (Arturo Gonzalez). Unarmed Americans are getting shot at and tear gassed by police. This is America. #PoliceBrutality #BlackLivesMatter #ICantBreathe # protests2020 #USA #ThisIsAmerica #protests #GeorgeFloydWasMurdered pic.twitter.com/7GOYHzn4k1
- ThePatriotCat (@ThePatriotCat) June 1, 2020
In Sacramento, where no curfew was imposed, the night brought new violence and new damage to business in the central part of the city and next to the Capitol after a generally peaceful protest in the afternoon. The police used tear gas and rubber bullets against those who ignored the requirement to disperse, writes "Voice of America".
Similar events took place in many cities where protests, which were peaceful in nature, escalated into arson and the defeat of shop windows. The police, armed with shields and batons, tried to push back the ranks of the demonstrators by spraying tear gas in their direction.
The situation in the capital
Police in Washington used tear gas and stun grenades to drive out the crowd of more than a thousand people who gathered in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House. Before that, the demonstrators marched from Howard University, chanting "There is no justice, no peace, no racist police."
The lanterns that usually illuminate the White House from the outside were extinguished that night.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser imposed a curfew from the evening of May 31 until the morning of June 1 and called on the District of Columbia National Guard to help the police.
- ؘ (@kthkore) June 1, 2020
Shortly before midnight, many fires burned near the White House. Shortly after midnight, the Associated Press reported that the District of Columbia National Guard was called up in full force. Local firefighters reported that one of the extinguished fires was in the basement of the historic Episcopal Church of St. John, a few blocks from the White House.
Coronavirus, Riots, White House Siege: unfolding simultaneously in the US ... And Trump is hiding from protest in underground bunker. pic.twitter.com/8exN1A0CKT
- Rula Jebreal (@rulajebreal) June 1, 2020
According to media reports, on Friday evening, May 29, the Secret Service escorted Trump to the White House underground bunker as a precaution, where he remained for a short time.
“The White House does not comment on protocols and decisions related to security,” said White House spokeswoman Judd Deere in response to Voice of America’s request for comment.
National Guard troops also worked with Atlanta police to enforce curfews in the city. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms fired two police officers earlier on May 31 and transferred the other three to clerical work until allegations of excessive use of force are considered.
The National Guard arrived in Minneapolis early Sunday morning after another night of protests and unrest in the city. pic.twitter.com/nY4AZrN2MS
- NowThis (@nowthisnews) June 1, 2020
No curfew was introduced in New York, where during the day the police kept their distance from the demonstrators, but at night there were cases when law enforcement officers broke into the crowd to clear the territory and make arrests, and the demonstrators threw various objects at them.
Minneapolis’s numerous businesses suffered substantial material damage on May 29 when protesters randomly plundered shops in an area near Floyd’s death. Entrepreneur Ahmed Siyad Shafi, with Somali roots, told Voice of America that vandals have attacked all of his stores.
“They broke the glass, doors, windows and took everything that they could carry away,” he said via Skype. The owner of a restaurant and clothing store in southern Minneapolis, Shafi called the "unacceptable" situation with the destruction of private property and called for peaceful protests.
- ABC News (@ABC) June 1, 2020
Amazon, Apple, Walmart, and other retailers have scaled down operations in the neighborhoods, closing their outlets in those most affected by the protests, notes Yahoo.
Apple Inc. stated that it closes a number of its stores in the country on May 31 in the light of protests, without specifying the number of closed points. During the pandemic, only about half of the 271 stores in the United States were already operating. The move followed the looting of a number of Apple retail stores nationwide, including in Minneapolis, Washington, DC, and Brooklyn.
Amazon.com Inc. sent to her part-time executive staff a notification about the need to “immediately” stop delivery and return home in more than a dozen cities, including Minneapolis, Chicago and Los Angeles. Amazon's subsidiary supermarket chain, Whole Foods, also said it temporarily closes stores or cuts opening hours at a number of outlets across the country.
Walmart Inc. closed some of its stores in Minneapolis and Atlanta on May 29, after some of them became looted. On May 31, retailer representatives said they were closing several hundred stores across the country. Some of them can be opened in the absence of damage to property and the building.
These are not Protestors
I repeat these are not Protestors
These are not people who care about George Floyd
I repeat these are not people who care about George Floyd
- Terrence K. Williams (@w_terrence) June 1, 2020
Target Corporation said on May 30 that it was closing 175 stores and shortening the opening hours of several others until further notice. CEO Brian Cornell said the company is working to provide support for workers displaced by the protests, including more than 200 from their store in Minneapolis, including “receiving full payment and benefits in the coming weeks.”
Nike Inc. temporarily closed some of its stores, and Adidas AG closed all stores.
What is happening and who is blamed
Demonstrations started on Tuesday May 26th in Minneapoliswhere a 46-year-old black man, George Floyd, died after being detained, handcuffed, laid down on the ground, and a policeman pressed his neck with his knee for more than eight minutes.
Demonstrators claim that they are protesting not only against police brutality against blacks, but also against systemic racism in the United States.
Minnesota governor says protests are already not related to murder, but provoked by visiting radicals.
Houston Police Chief Art Aceveto told CNN that he wants his department to escort Floyd's body home in support of the deceased's family. According to Acevedo, many police cities knew Floyd well.
Demonstrators in Minneapolis and across the country picked up the already familiar chant “No justice, no peace.” Others echoed Floyd's words: “I can't breathe.”
Four days after the incident, police officer Derek Chovin, who detained Floyd, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He and three other police officers, who stood nearby and did not intervene, were fired on the day of the incident. June 1 Chovin is due to appear in court in Minneapolis. The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office will take the lead.
“We want justice to prevail, we strive for it tirelessly,” said Attorney General Keith Ellison.
Protests in Minneapolis sharply intensified in the evening of May 27when city police took action in response to looted and burned shops in the city, as well as fatal shooting at a protest venue.
The situation further escalated on May 31, when truck drove into a crowd of protesters in Minneapolis. At the wheel of a car was a US citizen, presumably of Ukrainian origin Bogdan Vechirko.
President Donald Trump said that most of the responsibility for the violence lies with Antifa and other radical leftist groups, and offered federal military assistance to Minnesota. Trump's announcement was made on Twitter.
Several senior Trump administration officials, including Attorney General William Barr, have also accused Antifa and other “agitators” of taking control of protests in US cities.
“Violence incited and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the riots is internal terrorism and will be treated accordingly,” Barr said on May 31 after the president’s tweet.
It is not yet clear how many demonstrators across the country are members of Antifa, which, experts say, is not an organization, but rather an amorphous movement. This is not the first time that the President has characterized Antifa as a terrorist organization. Some politicians, in particular Senator Ted Cruz, have made similar statements, notes "Voice of America".
Joe Biden, who is likely to be a Democratic presidential candidate, visited a protest rally on May 31 and talked to African Americans in Wilmington, in his home state of Delaware. He urged the protesters not to resort to violence.
“We are a country suffering from pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us. As president, I will help lead this dialogue, ”Biden wrote on Twitter.
He also condemned the violence in a separate e-mail statement.
“To oppose such cruelty is right and necessary,” he said. “What cannot be said about arsons in cities and unnecessary destruction.”
US Attorney General William Barr in a statement on May 31 called for an end to the violence.
“The ongoing violence and destruction of property endangers the lives and livelihoods of other people and violates the rights of peaceful demonstrators, as well as all other citizens,” he emphasized. “It also undermines the urgent work that needs to be done through constructive engagement between the affected communities and law enforcement leaders to deal with grounded complaints.” Interfering with and reconciling us is the goal of these radical groups, and we cannot allow them to succeed. ”
According to the Associated Press, at least 4100 people have been arrested over the past two days across the country.
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