US bracing for continued demonstrations, race riots
JUNE 15, 2020
Demonstrations against police brutality and calling for racial equality are planned to continue Monday, three weeks after the death in police custody of George Floyd in Minnesota and days after police shot dead Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta.
Monday’s demonstrations include a march on the Georgia state capitol and protesters gathering in Lafayette Park, across the from the White House, where two weeks ago law enforcement forcefully cleared a peaceful crowd shortly before President Donald Trump walked through the area for a photo opportunity at a nearby church.
Also Monday, the U.N. Human Rights Council agreed to hold an urgent debate on Wednesday “on the current racially inspired human rights violations, systematic racism, police brutality and violence against peaceful protesters.”
Sunday brought protests in numerous cities, including Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Miami.
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said on CBS television’s “Face the Nation” Sunday she hopes officers can move back into a section of the city taken over by peaceful protesters without resorting to “something that devolves into a force situation.”
Protesters have peacefully occupied a four-block part of the city which they’ve named “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.” Organizers say they want a neighborhood without police. A huge “Black Lives Matter” mural covers the area’s main thoroughfare.
U.S. President Donald Trump has called the occupiers “ugly anarchists” and said the city should “take back” the zone.
But Mayor Jenny Durkan last week likened the zone to “a block party atmosphere” and no threat to the public but said it will be restored to the city at some time.
Anti-racism marches inspired by George Floyd’s death continued all weekend in some large European cities.
Demonstrators in Berlin formed a 9-kilometer long chain that began at the Brandenburg Gate.
In Paris, it was the police who protested what they say are unfair accusations of racism and brutality.
Shortly after 15,000 people demonstrated in the French capital, about 50 officers and their police cars surrounded the Arc de Triomphe.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Sunday “racist thuggery” has no place in British streets after right-wing extremists attacked protesters against racism. About 100 people were arrested.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan blamed the violence solely on the rightwingers and he thanked police for doing a “fantastic job” in restoring order.
Also Sunday, hundreds marched through Tokyo, holding banners reading “Black Lives Matter.”
Thousands also demonstrated Sunday in New Zealand and took a knee for a moment of silence for George Floyd in front of the U.S. consulate.