The country is shaken by violent demonstrations. Donald Trump announced the deployment of “thousands of heavily armed soldiers” in Washington.
U.S. President Donald Trump promised Monday to restore order in an America in a historic outburst of anger, threatening to deploy the military to stop the violence. In New York City, several department stores on the famous Ve Avenue were looted Monday night, according to Agence France-Presse reporters on the scene. The curfew in the city from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Monday will begin as early as 8 p.m. Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced, while assuring that the metropolis was “completely under control, and essentially calm and peaceful”. The curfew will remain in effect until Sunday, June 7.
Donald Trump faces the most serious civil unrest of his term as hundreds of thousands of Americans protest police brutality, racism and social inequality, exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis. “Deep down inside, we’ve had enough,” Jessica Hubbert, an African-American protester from Los Angeles, told Agence France-Presse.
A week after the murder in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man asphyxiated by a white police officer, New York, Los Angeles and dozens of other U.S. cities have stepped up security measures, enacting or extending night curfews to clear the streets. In Washington, several dozen demonstrators were arrested without violence in the evening for violating the curfew that began at 7 p.m. in the evening.
Acts of “domestic terrorism” for Trump
In the face of the unrest in addition to the coronavirus pandemic, Donald Trump had earlier announced in a martial tone the deployment in the capital of “thousands of heavily armed soldiers” and police officers to put an end to “riots” and “looting”. He called the previous day’s unrest in Washington “a disgrace”.
Calling on the governors to act quickly and forcefully to “dominate the streets” and break the spiral of violence, he warned them. “If a city or state refuses to make the necessary decisions to defend the lives and property of its residents, I will deploy the U.S. military to quickly resolve the problem for them,” he said, denouncing acts of “domestic terrorism.
“He is using the U.S. military against Americans,” Joe Biden, his opponent in the November presidential election, said on Twitter. The Democratic candidate is scheduled to travel to Philadelphia Tuesday morning to speak about the “civil unrest”. Biden is scheduled to travel to Philadelphia Tuesday morning to speak about the “civil unrest,” and on Monday, with his face covered by a mask, traveled to a black parish church in his home state of Delaware to meet with local officials. Obama’s former vice president is counting on this electorate to win the White House.
While Donald Trump was speaking in the White House gardens, looking like an entrenched camp, police used tear gas to disperse hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the compound. The goal was to clear the field toward Saint John’s Church, a nearby iconic building that was defaced Sunday night. The president walked there, surrounded by members of his cabinet, to have his picture taken with a Bible in hand. Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C., said the “shameful” dispersal was “shameful” and, according to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, was simply a “photo opportunity” for the president.
From Boston to Los Angeles, from Philadelphia to Seattle, the protest movement has so far been largely peaceful during the day, but has also led to nighttime flashover and destruction. At the heart of the slogans, “Black Lives Matter” and “I can’t breathe,” the last words of George Floyd lie on the floor, handcuffed and with his neck beneath the knee of a police officer, whose colleagues remained passive.
George Floyd died of asphyxiation due to “strong and prolonged pressure” on his neck and rib cage, Ben Crump, the lawyer for the victim’s family, said Monday, revealing the results of an independent autopsy. The official autopsy, which was made public afterwards, also found lethal pressure on the African-American’s neck, causing heart failure. Neither the dismissal of the officer responsible for the blunder, Derek Chauvin, nor his subsequent arrest has calmed spirits, and protests have reached at least 140 American cities.
Faced with clashes involving demonstrators, riot police and riot police, National Guard soldiers were deployed in more than 20 cities, in a climate of tension not seen since the 1960s. To disperse the protesters, the police used tear gas and rubber bullets. Officer Derek Chauvin, who has been charged with manslaughter, is due to appear in court on 8 June. There is no reason to expect an immediate drop in tension, especially since the funeral of George Floyd, Texas, will be held next week.
Emotion has spread beyond the borders of the United States. Demonstrations against police brutality and racism in the United States have also taken place in recent days in Great Britain, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Canada and New Zealand. America’s global rivals, led by China and Iran, have not let the opportunity to criticize Washington slip through their fingers. In particular, Beijing denounced the “chronic disease” of racism in the United States. And Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, who was mistreated last year by a wave of protests supported by most Western countries, accused Washington of having “double standards” in dealing with protesters.