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Protests escalate in the United States despite the curfew and the threat of repression by Donald Trump


Demonstrations spread across the country. The president's warning about sending the military did not appease the fury against racism and police brutality.

Paula Lugones

06/02/2020 - 21:23

  • Clarí
  • World

In Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles or Washington, in all corners of the country Americans are amazed. At lunches, talks with family and friends, the topic of conversation is no longer the coronavirus pandemic or the economic drama: now everyone here talks about what the United States has become these days, with outbreaks of violence in every city, with smashed iconic buildings, millions of people living under curfew, and with a president who wants a tough hand with the military in the streets, who hid one day in the bunker of the White House and walked the square that was cleared for minutes the next before protesters with sticks and gas.

For the eighth consecutive day, protests continued on Tuesday night across the country, with hundreds of thousands of protesters violating the curfew that governs almost all major cities.

In front of the White House in Washington, protesters try to get closer to the gigantic fence placed to avoid new protests.

This unprecedented level of violence on the streets throughout the country, something not seen since the protests after the murder of Martin Luther King in 1968, is also reflected in the statements of politicians and is amplified in a electoral year.

Donald Trump, who had already announced on Monday the deployment of "thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers" to stem the wave of protests and had described himself as "the president of law and order," redoubled the pressure on Tuesday. governors to harden their position in the face of protests against racism and police brutality after the murder of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis last Monday, who died of suffocation lying on the ground with the knee of a white police officer crushing his neck .

The marches were held this Tuesday throughout the day in front of the White House, in Washington. / AFP

Trump hit particularly hard with New York State President Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, who rejected sending the National Guard to that city. "Thank you, but no, thank you," replied the governor.

After a night of marches that ended with riots and looting in emblematic stores in the city, Trump tweeted this Tuesday: "New York was lost to looters, thugs, left-wing radicals and all other forms of scum. The Governor refuses to accept my offer for a dominant National Guard. New York was smashed. "

Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio enacted a curfew on the Big Apple Monday night starting at 8:00 p.m. local time, which runs through Sunday. However, protesters violated the rule and the city lived a fierce night, with more than 700 arrested, most in Manhattan, but also in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

In Boston, as in much of the country, there were also marches against police violence against African Americans. / REUTERS

The scenes in the city, one of the mecca of world tourism, were dramatic, with patrol fires, looting and smashed windows of electronic product houses such as Microsoft and BestBuy and iconic stores such as Macy's on 34th Street and other large firms. Fifth Avenue like Nike, Lego, Gap, Michael Kors and others. The images of looters breaking stained glass windows throwing chairs and public bicycles distressed to the Americans who stare in amazement at these scenes that seem to come from a distant country.

In his campaign for the heavy hand, Trump also highlighted that in Minneapolis, where Floyd was assassinated, the situation last night was "magnificent" and he attributed the achievement: "(Thank you President Trump)." In this city in the state of Minnesota, Governor Tim Walz did accept the National Guard. The streets of Minneapolis show the majority of the 5,000 troops who arrived in the state, with armor, long weapons and camouflaged uniforms. Indeed, the level of violence decreased these days in the area, due to arrests, tear gas and rubber bullets, which were also targeted at journalists. The city now seeks to return to normal.

Protesters in Houston, Texas, in repudiation of the death of George Floyd. / REUTERS

Trump compared the situation in New York with that of Washington where, in his opinion, "there were no problems last night" although "many arrests". “Great work by everyone. Overwhelming force. Domain, ”he tweeted in another message. However, he made no mention of the fierce controversy sparked by the unusual foot visit to a church directly across from the White House, which was surrounded by protesters protesting peacefully.

The plaza through which Trump and other officials were to walk was cleared by shoving and tear gas only so that the president could have his picture taken with the Bible held up in front of the church that had been vandalized .

Hours later, the White House released a video of the entire scene, where the President is seen advancing steadily in the plaza with epic music in the background. Trump is a man who is very aware of the media and loves those blows, especially in the electoral campaign.

The National Guard guards the White House in Washington on Tuesday. / AP

Controversy over the Bible

But the criticism also rained down on him. The Reverend Mariann Budde, Bishop of the Diocese of Washington, said that Trump raised the Bible in front of the church "as if it were an accessory or an extension of his military and authoritarian position" and that the fact "was an abuse of tools and spiritual symbols of our traditions and our sacred space ”. "He did not come to church to pray, he did not come to church to offer his condolences to those who are grieving," he added. "He did not come to commit to healing our nation, all the things we would expect and long for from the most important leader on earth."

The Rev. James Martin, a prominent Jesuit priest and author, said that “using the Bible as an accessory while talking about sending the army, boasting that your country is the largest in the world, and publicly mocking people daily, is more or less the opposite of everything that Jesus defended ”. Rabbi Jack Moline, president of the Interreligious Alliance, joined in stating that "it is one of the most blatant abuses of religion I have ever seen."

Democratic candidate Joe Biden also tries to position himself on the issue that everyone is talking about and said that, if elected president, he will not fan "the flames of hatred", referring to his electoral rival. "I will try to heal the racial wounds that have plagued this country for a long time, not use them for political gain," he said. “I will do my job and take responsibility. I will not blame the others. "

Washington, correspondent

Source: clarin

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