Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-06-03 03:22am

Starglider wrote:
2020-06-03 02:52am
ray245 wrote:
2020-06-02 06:40pm
If this is a waiting game, the protests will peter out eventually. I hope the protest can achieve viable change and reforms, but a very cynical part of me is thinking that won't happen.
Occupy Wall Street generated lots of media coverage for a few months, then petered out and achieved basically nothing (even the far left desperate to claim a victory can only say 'it helped build our movement'). The Yellow Vest protests burned cars and blockaded roads in France, Macron offered a few meaningless platitudes and waited them out; media coverage was withdrawn and the protests are slowly petering out. In Ferguson, in the five years after the riots and despite intense political pressure, the rate of police shootings and killings has held steady, and trust in the police has continued to decline. So the odds are not good.

I would say that after the Insurrection Act / federal troop activations and bible incident, the position of 'vote Green because the Democrats are ignoring the left' is pretty much indefensible. However useless you think the Democrats are, the amount of damage Trump is doing to US social, political and constitutional cohesion pretty much demands support for the most viable way to remove him (which, sadly, is Biden).
On this note, and contrary to the predictions of the unrest leading to Trump's victory further up the page, the last few days have seen him widely condemned. In addition to the large sums raised for various organizations supporting the protesters, ActBlue, the Democratic Party's online fundraising platform, raised 60 million dollars from Friday to Monday, including its single best day of the year thus far: https://nytimes.com/2020/06/01/us/polit ... crats.html

Meanwhile, Trump's disapproval rating on fivethirtyeight, after dropping minisculing right after the protests started, has now risen, to his highest disapproval rating since last November: https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/tr ... id=rrpromo

And even those who approve of the deployment of troops in theory won't necessarily approve of Trump's handling of the crisis. According to new polling, 49% of voters disapprove of Trump's handling of the crisis, vs only 33% approval (the other 19% apparently can't make up their minds whether gassing peaceful protesters for a photo op is a good response):

https://usnews.com/news/national-news/a ... d-protests
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP is receiving negative marks for his response to the ongoing protests across the nation following the death of George Floyd last week, according to two new polls.

A CBS News poll released on Tuesday found that 49% of respondents disapprove of the president's response to the events and protests in Minneapolis, while just 32% approve. (Another 19% said they hadn't heard enough.) Only 33% of those polled approve of the response by former Vice President Joe Biden – Trump's likely Democratic opponent in the 2020 presidential election – but about 42% said they haven't heard enough from Biden. Some 25% said they disapprove of Biden's response.

A separate poll from Morning Consult released late Monday night found that 45% of registered voters think Trump is doing a poor job of addressing the situation, while 32% feel he is doing an excellent, very good or good job. About 11% say he is doing an "only fair" job of responding to the protests.

Both polls were conducted before Trump intensified his response to the protests on Monday night, threatening during a White House address to deploy "thousands and thousands" of active military personnel to U.S. streets. After nearby protestors were dispersed with tear gas, Trump posed with a Bible in front of the St. John's Church, prompting outrage by the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.

While more respondents in both polls disapprove of Trump's performance than approve of it, his overall ratings are still hovering in the 40% range – something he has relied on since taking office.

African American respondents to the Morning Consult poll were more heavily critical of the president. Approximately 69% of those polled said Trump is doing a poor job of addressing the protests, while only 14% combined said he is doing a good, very good or excellent job.

The Morning Consult poll also found that George Floyd's death and the protests have implications for the 2020 election. About 45% of respondents said they are now more likely to vote for Biden as a result of the protests, while 31% said they are more likely to vote for Trump. Eighteen percent said there is "no impact either way."

Similarly, 70% of African American respondents said they are more likely to vote for Biden as a result of Floyd's death and the subsequent protests. Only 6% said they are more likely to vote for Trump.

The CBS News survey was conducted by YouGov with a sample of more than 2,000 U.S. residents interviewed between May 29 and June 1, with a margin of error of 2.6%. The Morning Consult poll was conducted between May 31 and June 1, with a national sample of more than 1,600 registered voters and a margin of error of 2%.
Biden's approval rating isn't great here either, but it seems like with him its more that people haven't made up their minds yet. The numbers also show that far more voters have been swayed toward Biden by recent events than have been swayed toward Trump. African Americans are overwhelmingly expressing more readiness to vote for Biden (this is, as noted above, polling done before the most recent developments and the church gassing and photo op).

More polling backs this up, showing Biden gaining five points during the uprisings: https://forbes.com/sites/andrewsolender ... 4c0e5e5c80

In short, while the picture isn't entirely favorable for Biden, the overall evidence appears to suggest that Biden, not Trump, is gaining during this crisis. Of course, the election is a ways off yet, but Biden's lead has thus far been fairly consistent and solid, and appears if anything to be growing.
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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by loomer » 2020-06-03 03:36am

"Doctors keep their scalpels and other instruments handy, for emergencies. Keep your philosophy ready too—ready to understand heaven and earth. In everything you do, even the smallest thing, remember the chain that links them. Nothing earthly succeeds by ignoring heaven, nothing heavenly by ignoring the earth." M.A.A.A

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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by ray245 » 2020-06-03 04:09am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2020-06-03 03:06am
aerius wrote:
2020-06-03 01:09am
I'm pretty sure it's the same one they're blaming for hacking the elections, hacking power companies, starting an oil price war, and pretty much everything else that isn't covid-19 and China.
Obviously the protests are not caused by Russia or China, and contrary to your and mr. friendly guy's insinuations, I have not seen a general or widespread push by "the establishment"* to portray them as originating from Russia or China. However, that does not change the fact that hostile foreign governments, including China and Russia, have used and will use them in any way they can to weaken the US and strengthen their own position. Because of course they will.

Also, frankly, these protests are not about Russia, and should not be hijacked to push a narrative about how Russia (or China) is the victim of the West.

*Which is a conveniently vague term to begin with- see how white male hereditary billionaire Donald Trump was able to sell himself as "anti-establishment
They are already using it to point out the US handling of the protest is no better than their own handling of the protest in Hong Kong. While they are happily avoiding showing any of their own footage of protests and looting in China, they are airing what is happening in the US to Chinese audience.

In other words, what is happening in the US is actively bloostering the legitimacy of the CCP in mainland Chinese eyes: " See? Do you really want democracy?"
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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by madd0ct0r » 2020-06-03 04:14am

Three DEA sources told BuzzFeed News they are troubled by the memo and see it as an example of the Justice Department potentially abusing its power in an attempt to smear the protests and crack down on protected First Amendment activity.

The sources requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak with the media.

Just reported on BBC live
https://m.startribune.com/minn-official ... 570958652/

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights will launch an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department after filing a civil rights charge related to the death of George Floyd, who died while being pinned to the street by police last week.

The probe, announced Tuesday by Gov. Tim Walz, will look at Minneapolis police policies and procedures over the past 10 years to determine whether the department has engaged in discriminatory practices toward people of color.

“This is not about holding people personally criminally liable,” said Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero, who will lead the investigation. “This is about systems change.”
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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by ray245 » 2020-06-03 04:17am

Starglider wrote:
2020-06-03 02:52am
Occupy Wall Street generated lots of media coverage for a few months, then petered out and achieved basically nothing (even the far left desperate to claim a victory can only say 'it helped build our movement'). The Yellow Vest protests burned cars and blockaded roads in France, Macron offered a few meaningless platitudes and waited them out; media coverage was withdrawn and the protests are slowly petering out. In Ferguson, in the five years after the riots and despite intense political pressure, the rate of police shootings and killings has held steady, and trust in the police has continued to decline. So the odds are not good.

I would say that after the Insurrection Act / federal troop activations and bible incident, the position of 'vote Green because the Democrats are ignoring the left' is pretty much indefensible. However useless you think the Democrats are, the amount of damage Trump is doing to US social, political and constitutional cohesion pretty much demands support for the most viable way to remove him (which, sadly, is Biden).
Protest, or peaceful protests rarely works as well as people think they do. Protests works when there is an actual majority of people demanding change in public. That's how certain regimes are toppled, because the vast majority of people are protesting/unhappy with the entire regime.

In most Western countries, most protests do not actually have the support of a big majority. And in a electoral college system like the US, as long as the red-states continues to see the protests merely as a riot, and refuse to acknowledge the concerns raised by the protesters, they are the ones that holds a disproportionate degree of influence on US politics.
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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by loomer » 2020-06-03 04:30am

The pope has, unsurprisingly, made a statement against racism. He can call me back when he promulgates a bull excommunicating cops involved in racial oppression rather than just pretty words. If excommunication is good enough for us masons I'm sure it's a fitting punishment for men and women who are actively involved in destroying communities.
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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by loomer » 2020-06-03 05:25am

"Doctors keep their scalpels and other instruments handy, for emergencies. Keep your philosophy ready too—ready to understand heaven and earth. In everything you do, even the smallest thing, remember the chain that links them. Nothing earthly succeeds by ignoring heaven, nothing heavenly by ignoring the earth." M.A.A.A

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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by loomer » 2020-06-03 06:55am

"Doctors keep their scalpels and other instruments handy, for emergencies. Keep your philosophy ready too—ready to understand heaven and earth. In everything you do, even the smallest thing, remember the chain that links them. Nothing earthly succeeds by ignoring heaven, nothing heavenly by ignoring the earth." M.A.A.A

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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by loomer » 2020-06-03 09:09am

A first hand account of Saturday's uprising against the regime in NYC.
New Yorkers Said ‘F**k The Police,’ So The Police Rioted
A historic uprising against police brutality in the city has seen the arrest of nearly 2,000 people, including me.

NEW YORK — Thousands of New Yorkers over the last few days have taken to the streets in all five boroughs, setting cop cars aflame, braving beatings by batons and suffering pepper spray to the eyes, all so they can scream an urgent message for all the world to hear: Fuck the police.

They marched in Manhattan, where the New York Police Department once gunned down Patrick Dorismond.

In Queens, where the NYPD shot 50 bullets at Sean Bell.

In the Bronx, where an NYPD cop choked the life out of Anthony Baez.

In Brooklyn, where the NYPD shot 13-year-old Nicholas Heyward Jr.

And they marched on Staten Island, where the NYPD stole the breath from Eric Garner’s lungs.

Nearly 2,000 protesters were arrested over five nights as America’s largest city joined a national uprising against police brutality that saw demonstrations in about 140 cities, a mass unrest the likes of which this country hasn’t seen in over a generation.

There were moments in New York when it felt like this multi-racial coalition of protesters, led largely by young people of color, was taking back the streets from the NYPD, a police force bigger than some nation’s armies that’s terrorized this city’s Black and brown residents since its founding.

It felt like more and more people here had come to question the cops’ monopoly on force and to embrace the radical idea of defunding the department, or even the abolitionist dream of a New York without New York’s Finest at all.

And so New York’s Finest erupted in violence.

The videos of tumult went viral. A cop speeding a patrol car into the middle of a crowd of protesters. A cop pulling down a man’s mask — worn to protect against the coronavirus — and pepper-spraying him in the face. Another using a car door to hit a man. One aiming a gun at demonstrators. Another shoving a woman into the ground so hard that she went into a seizure. And another could be heard saying “Shoot those motherfuckers” over the police scanner. The list goes on.

I witnessed cops brutalize and arrest people before being violently arrested myself.

And yet by Monday, New York’s Democratic governor, the city’s mayor and the country’s Republican president had settled on similarsolutions to all the turmoil: suppressing this historic uprising with more armed agents of the state.

To the protesters, it felt like their government still hadn’t heard them at all, and probably had never been listening in the first place.

“The Only Fuckin’ Way They Understand”

On Saturday in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, thousands gathered outside the Parkside Avenue subway station under the afternoon sun for a series of speeches before that day’s marches. People hung out of windows and draped Black Lives Matter banners off of fire escapes while listening to the speakers below.

“You know how fucked up it is to turn on the news and see another nigga that look like you dead?” a man named Kerbe Joseph asked the crowd through a megaphone.

“If you white,” Joseph added, “and you not in the crowd, not on the fire escape, not on the roof screaming “Black lives matter’ in New York City… then get the fuck out!”

Joseph and the other speakers, all Black or Hispanic or Native American, invoked the names of Americans whose recent murders had sparked the demonstrations rocking dozens of U.S. cities: Breonna Taylor, shot by police in Louisville, Kentucky; Ahmaud Arbery, shot and killed while jogging in Georgia by a former cop and his son; and George Floyd, killed in Minneapolis just eight days ago, when a cop pressed a knee into Floyd’s neck and kept it there like a noose.

“We are George!” the crowd chanted.

Constance Malcolm, the mother of 18-year-old Ramarley Graham, who was killed by the NYPD in 2012, was joined on the podium by her son Chinoor Campbell, who was only 6 years old when he witnessed a white cop shoot his unarmed big brother inside his own home.

A few years ago, Malcolm showed me the bloodstained bath mat she kept on a shelf in her home, from when the cop’s bullet tore through her son’s heart. She couldn’t bring herself to throw it away, she said.

Malcolm has marched in many protests against police brutality in this city, and I once visited her as she slept on the sidewalk outside a Department of Justice building in Manhattan, demanding a civil rights investigation into her son’s murder.

But to the crowd in Flatbush on Saturday, Malcolm argued that such nonviolent actions simply haven’t accomplished what needs to be accomplished.

“We see all the looting and burning buildings down and everything going on, and they call us thugs,” Malcolm said, referring to all the volatile demonstrations across the country, particularly in Minneapolis, where protesters ransacked and then burned down a police precinct.

“I’m not condoning the burning and stuff,” she continued, “but it’s the only fucking way they understand!”

The crowd roared. A short time later, Malcolm grabbed onto a banner that said “Justice for George Floyd,” her surviving son at her side, and led the crowd as it started to march through the streets.

Chants of “Who keeps us safe? We keep us safe!!” and “NYPD, suck my dick!” and “Fuck the police!” filled Flatbush Avenue.

Residents — many of whom have been stuck in their homes, out of work and sheltering from COVID-19, which has devastated predominantly Black and brown working-class neighborhoods like Flatbush — piled out onto the sidewalks to watch and sometimes join in.

An old man inside a bodega explained to another old man what the march was all about, pointing to his knee, and then to his neck.

People in cars — including sanitation workers in a garbage truck, and the drivers of Flatbush’s one-dollar vans, who are regularly harassed by the NYPD for providing cheap rides for locals in an area with scant subway service — honked horns to cheer on the protesters.

Auto shop workers stepped out of their shop to dance and throw up fists of solidarity. A crying woman screamed “I love each and every one of you!” out of a fourth-story apartment window.

The protesters marched for blocks and blocks. A Black organizer occasionally chided white protesters to stay in the back, to let the Black and brown voices be front and center.

Some in the crowd wouldn’t talk to journalists, and why would they? The predominantly white local and national press has drummed up fear of Black New Yorkers or acted as stenographers for the NYPD.

As day turned to dusk on Saturday, some protesters torched their first NYPD vehicle, a cruiser. Flames curled out the windows, just above the car decals declaring the “Courtesy, Professionalism, and Respect” of the department. Protesters warned others not to get too close in case the car exploded.

Cops in riot gear pushed back the protesters. A firetruck arrived, put out the fire and then left. And then the battle lines formed.

The NYPD stood in rows in the middle of the street, near a Shell gas station. Protesters formed a line directly in front of them. Both Black and white protesters called for white protesters to stand on the front lines, and the white protesters obliged.

A cycle emerged: protesters would throw projectiles at the cops — glass bottles, stones, the occasional fireworks — and cops would charge into the crowd, tackling and arresting protesters before dragging them back to waiting police vans as the melee subsided and the two sides resumed formations.

Michael, an attorney from Brooklyn, stood on the sidewalk during a brief interlude with his friend Jerome, who did not give their last names.

The violence didn’t start with the burning cop cars or the glass bottles flying through the air, Michael argued. The police started the violence a long time ago.

“Every other week, every other day, we hear another story of a Black man being gunned down or a Black woman being gunned down, and that’s not fair, and then they just get away with it, and enough is enough,” Michael said.

“We’re tired, and, no, we don’t want to be out here destroying cop cars and destroying our own neighborhoods and stuff like that, but that’s the way to —” Michael continued, before his friend Jerome interrupted.

“I’m fucking tired of that shit about ‘We are destroying our own fuckin’ community,’” Jerome said. “We do not fucking own the fucking community! We don’t own this shit! Every year we do not fucking own it. Stop fucking telling us that we destroy our own community. We don’t own shit that is fucking here!”

Throughout the day, some protesters had carried signs calling for the defunding of the NYPD, a proposal that’s moved from more radical corners of the left to mainstream discourse in recent years. The idea is to reallocate a big chunk of the department’s mammoth $6 billion annual budget and instead invest it in housing, employment, mental health services and other non-police remedies for the problems of public safety.

“Just imagine if all of that money, or some of that money, was redistributed in the communities, to the broken schools, to our health care system,” Michael told me as the police prepared to charge again. “Like, come on! These are the communities that need it, and yet we don’t see that. We see police cars patrolling.”

The cops were getting angrier. When they charged this time, a white cop screamed “C’mere, you motherfuckers! You bitches!” while chasing after a young Black man.

A woman who gave her name as Jennifer L. yelled after a cop who had just violently tackled and arrested a protester.

“They don’t have no reason to be scared!” her voice trembled. “We should be scared! We should be scared! What are they scared for? Oh, a few bottles? A few bottles?! How about a knee? How about a knee?!”

Nearby, a young white couple stood stunned and silent holding hands and looking out across all the chaos. Their coronavirus masks were stained with baking soda, used as a treatment for the pepper spray that had left their eyes red and irritated. They’d been roughed up in the last police advance, they explained. A cop had hit the woman in the stomach with a baton.

They declined to tell me their names. “Our names are irrelevant in this whole thing,” the man said. “The lives that were lost are the only names that need to be repeated.”

After every time the cops charged, the protesters reassembled, staring down their heavily armed attackers, preparing for the next onslaught. They chanted, “Say her name! Breonna Taylor!” and “Say his name! George Floyd!”

They taunted the cops with chants of “NYPD, suck my dick!” and climbed atop a city bus abandoned in the street by its driver, arms outstretched as if, for a moment, the city where they lived actually belonged to them.

The battle lines started to dissolve. Cops ran riot after protesters all along Church Avenue as helicopters circled overhead, occasionally shining spotlights down onto the scattered melees.

I started to film the police charge as I walked backward with a group of retreating protesters, my press pass dangling from my neck.

A sprinting cop veered toward me and bumped into me with his shoulder as he ran past, yelling “Get out my way!” even though there was plenty of room around me.

I’d been watching the cops toss around young New Yorkers all day, pressing their faces into the concrete and cursing at them. I was worked up.

“Fuck you,” I told the cop.

He stopped charging after the protesters and circled back to me, shoving a baton into my chest and knocking me to the curb.

I don’t know how many cops piled on top of me, but there were a lot. A knee or a foot pressed my head and neck into the concrete. Hands tugged at my legs and arms in different directions while different voices issued impossible demands.

“Put your left hand behind your back!” The way my body was twisted, I couldn’t. “Stop resisting!” I wasn’t.

I asked them to look at my press pass. I told them I was a journalist. I begged them to get my phone, which had fallen out of my hand during the fracas.

“Shut the fuck up,” I heard one cop say.

When they cuffed me and stood me up, a white cop, maskless and with rage in his eyes, came within a few inches of my face. “Fucking asshole,” he called me.

Again and again, my press pass clearly visible on my neck, I pleaded for the cops to get my phone, worried that I’d lose so much of what I’d documented that day. The cops refused, leaving it on the street before escorting me to the police van.

If this is how they treat a white journalist, I thought.

“Nigga, I Ain’t George”

As the cops escorted us into the 67th Precinct, we passed a hulking white cop on his way out into the street. He wore a “Punisher” skull patch on his bulletproof vest, a popularfascist ode among cops to the murderous vigilante comic-book character.

Inside the precinct lobby, a tired and demoralized cop stood by the front desk as new detainees were brought in for processing. He had only three years left until he could retire with a full pension, he told me. “If I could, I’d drop my belt and walk out of here right now.”

The officers then put me in a cell with 15 other guys. Everyonehad been arrested at the demonstration; most were Black or brown, save for me and three other white guys. The cops wouldn’t provide anyone with masks, and it was impossible to socially distance.

One of the white guys had a badly broken foot, bare and swollen on the cell floor. He pleaded with the cops for medical attention, and the cops assured him it was coming.

“You’ve just been lied to,” one of the other guys in the cell quipped.

Despite the circumstances, there was camaraderie, and the mood was almost buoyant. One guy polled the cell: Was this anybody’s first time in jail?

Only a few hands went up.

“I’ve been arrested 16 times,” said one respondent, a seasoned activist and protest medic. The cell erupted into cheers and applause so loud that three cops came to check on us.

Everyone started sharing their stories. One guy described liberating an NYPD riot shield from a police van earlier that day. He’d carried it through the crowd as everyone cheered.

Another guy described why he was dressed in sweatpants, an undershirt and Adidas slides.

He’d just stepped out of his apartment to check out the protests, he said, when cops tackled him. One of the cops pressed a knee hard into his neck.

‘Nigga, I ain’t George!’” he said he’d told the officers, before using his strength to briefly free himself.

A little after midnight, cops arrived to take me to another precinct where they told me I’d be processed and released. My cellmates wished me luck and told me to stay safe.

The cops put me back into the van and we drove to the 72nd Precinct in Sunset Park. There they put me in a cell by myself and through the bars I could see a fresh batch of arrested protesters arrive in the lobby, including two Black women who were bleeding from the face.

“You’re murderers for hire!” one of the women screamed at the cops as she stood cuffed and crying, waiting to be put in a cell. “You’re murderers for hire!”

I was released and issued a summons to appear in court later this year for a charge of “refusal to disperse.”

A short time later, a spokesman for the New York City mayor’s office told my HuffPost colleagues in a statement that they “apologize” for what I had “experienced tonight.”

It’s unclear if any of the other hundreds of people arrested over the last few days have received such personal apologies from the mayor.

Instead, Mayor Bill de Blasio said officers had shown “tremendous restraint” during the demonstrations. On Monday, de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo implemented a curfew in the city and announced they’d double the number of cops on the streets.

President Donald Trump, while he was threatening to sic the military on anti-racist protesters, used federal police to tear-gas protesters near the White House to clear space for a photo-op in front of a church Monday.

New Yorkers continued to protest on Monday anyway. A woman in Brooklyn stood atop a car holding a sign that read “Radical action brings radical change. #BLM.”

As they took over the Brooklyn Bridge, the sun setting over the Manhattan skyline, a single car accompanied the protesters as they walked, driving slowly with “Fuck Tha Police” blaring from the speakers, a raised Black fist reaching out of the sunroof.
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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by Ace Pace » 2020-06-03 09:56am

Instead, Mayor Bill de Blasio said officers had shown “tremendous restraint” during the demonstrations. On Monday, de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo implemented a curfew in the city and announced they’d double the number of cops on the streets.
I wonder if they really understand what they're saying here.
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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by Imperial Overlord » 2020-06-03 10:41am

The billionaire mayor and the aggressively anti-progressive governor? They understand exactly what they're saying.
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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by loomer » 2020-06-03 11:19am

While the uncritical repetition of the outside agitator line has died down, it's still worth keeping an eye on since, again, Trump has declared all anti-fascists terrorists and insinuated that their involvement in protests is illegitimate. With protests now occurring in all 50 states it's harder than ever to credit the party line that the rage is being stirred up by outsiders alone. Emphasis mine.
Some U.S. officials are blaming outside agitators for unrest. That tactic has a long history, experts say
Governor, president claimed, without evidence, that 80% of protesters in Minneapolis came from out of state

Some U.S. officials have blamed so-called outside agitators for stoking unrest as nationwide demonstrations against police violence have ruptured America this week, and experts say those claims echo a decades-old tactic to dismiss and delegitimize protests.

The protests started in Minnesota where George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died in Minneapolis on May 25 after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes. Some officials in the state were quick to blame outsiders for protest violence over the weekend.

"Our best estimate right now that I heard is about 20 per cent is what we think are Minnesotans and about 80 per cent are outside," said the state's governor, Tim Walz, at a press conference Saturday.

He didn't provide any proof. Similar assertions were made by the mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul, though later St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said that he was given inaccurate information about the provenance of the protesters.

U.S. President Donald Trump also echoed Walz's statement on Twitter Saturday.

"80% of the RIOTERS in Minneapolis last night were from OUT OF STATE. They are harming businesses (especially African American small businesses), homes, and the community of good, hardworking Minneapolis residents who want peace, equality, and to provide for their families," said Trump in a tweet.

Lawmakers in other states have also made similar claims about protests in their jurisdictions, including New York City's mayor, Bill de Blasio, whose daughter was arrested for protesting.

Since Floyd's death, protests have erupted in over 75 U.S. cities and in some cities in Canada, and more than 4,400 people have been arrested, according to The Associated Press.

Why the 'outside agitator' idea persists

"It's not beyond the pale for any of us to assume that this (outside agitators) could be a factor in the violence," said Yohuru Williams, dean of the College of Art and Sciences at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul and a professor of African-American history.

"It's a question of scale and degree, rather than the question of whether it is one thing or the other."


The claims of outside agitators bring up memories of the civil rights movement for Williams.

"In a lot of communities, southern sheriffs and politicians would raise the spectre of outside agitators to deflect from the legitimate concerns of local activists," he said.

"The Communist Party, for example, is one of the favourite whipping boys of the southern segregationists who claimed that it was communist influences that were really stirring up civil rights protests."

Williams sees the same deflection happening now, as some public officials once again focus on outside agitators and blame them for the violence instead of addressing the concerns over racism voiced by the protesters.

"We're now focused singularly on the issue for these outside agitators. And that bait and switch historically has been detrimental to social movements because it then becomes all about catching the so-called bad guys," he said.

"It has a damning effect on the message because, ultimately, it takes the attention away from the core issue here in Minneapolis right now. This is a question of police brutality."


Williams said most of the protesters he saw over the weekend seemed to be local people frustrated with their inability to have their concerns heard.

"When I was there, I saw people who were, quite frankly, just deeply hurt and frustrated by their inability to get people to recognize the very simple march of the organization at the forefront of this that black lives matters."

What arrest records show

Jeremy Zoss, a spokesperson for the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, whose jurisdiction takes in Minneapolis, provided numbers to CBC News on Tuesday showing that as of 12:30 p.m. CT, 544 people had been arrested in the county in relation to the protests. Of those, 446 were from Minnesota.

A total of 77 people arrested were from outside Minnesota, and 21 were listed as unknown. In other words, local residents made up the majority of those arrested.

Zoss said the people arrested were transported to the Hennepin County jail and processed there. Many have since been released.

Impact on the protests

The trope of outside activists instigating protests makes it easier for governments to respond to protests with heavy-handed tactics, says Heidi Matthews, an assistant professor at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto and co-director of the Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security at York University.

The idea of the outside agitator "is really a longstanding trope that has been used, I would say, for well over 100 years in many different contexts in the U.S. and Canada and globally to sort of shut down and delegitimate protest movements that are challenging, broadly speaking, status quo power structures," she said.


"Generally, this has a racial element."

In Canada, the myth of the outsider who agitates has come up in connection with Indigenous protests, and in China, it has been cited in connection with protesters from the Uighur ethnic minority, Matthews said.

"We actually see this cropping up all over the place over the course of many, many years."

When looking at protests, it's a valid question to ask who is present and where they're from, she said.

"It's certainly true that there are often people who physically come from outside, No. 1, and then 2., who actually have a different sort of political commitment or goal in being involved in the protests than local organizers or activists might have," said Matthews.

But the suggestion that it's not legitimate for people from outside of the nearby area to participate in protests ignores the nature of protests and why people are angry, she said.

On Monday night, speaking outside the White House, Trump blamed the violence on "professional anarchists" and anti-fascists (also known as antifa), among others.

Minnesota Gov. Walz made similar remarks about the protesters at his Saturday press conference, saying, "They are adapting. They are receiving information together. They are being fed by professionals in this, in professional tactics in urban warfare."

Matthews said it's not uncommon for protest movements organize beyond just local areas.

"It ignores the truth, essentially, that effective organizing often happens not at the purely local or municipal level but at the state level, the national level and the global level as well," she said.
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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by Straha » 2020-06-03 11:41am

Imperial Overlord wrote:
2020-06-03 10:41am
The billionaire mayor and the aggressively anti-progressive governor? They understand exactly what they're saying.
De Blasio isn't a billionaire. A tremendous disappointment right now? Absolutely. But not a billionaire. You're thinking of Bloomberg.
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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by Imperial Overlord » 2020-06-03 12:04pm

I was under the false impression that De Blasio was also obscenely wealthy. I stand corrected.
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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-06-03 12:20pm

ray245 wrote:
2020-06-03 04:09am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2020-06-03 03:06am
aerius wrote:
2020-06-03 01:09am
I'm pretty sure it's the same one they're blaming for hacking the elections, hacking power companies, starting an oil price war, and pretty much everything else that isn't covid-19 and China.
Obviously the protests are not caused by Russia or China, and contrary to your and mr. friendly guy's insinuations, I have not seen a general or widespread push by "the establishment"* to portray them as originating from Russia or China. However, that does not change the fact that hostile foreign governments, including China and Russia, have used and will use them in any way they can to weaken the US and strengthen their own position. Because of course they will.

Also, frankly, these protests are not about Russia, and should not be hijacked to push a narrative about how Russia (or China) is the victim of the West.

*Which is a conveniently vague term to begin with- see how white male hereditary billionaire Donald Trump was able to sell himself as "anti-establishment
They are already using it to point out the US handling of the protest is no better than their own handling of the protest in Hong Kong. While they are happily avoiding showing any of their own footage of protests and looting in China, they are airing what is happening in the US to Chinese audience.

In other words, what is happening in the US is actively bloostering the legitimacy of the CCP in mainland Chinese eyes: " See? Do you really want democracy?"
Unfortunately, yes.

The more truthful argument would be "the US is not (and has arguably never been) a democracy". What is happening now does not reflect the failings of democracy, but its absence. But because the US has branded itself a symbol of freedom, it is easy to portray this unrest, and the brutal crackdowns against it, as representative of democracy.
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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by loomer » 2020-06-03 12:49pm

Another case in which all those pesky outsiders from other states must've been too fast for the cops to catch. If only the deep state wasn't funding shoes with rollerskates in them for all their antifa super soldiers we might have arrest stats that reflect the outside agitator narrative.
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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by ray245 » 2020-06-03 01:28pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2020-06-03 12:20pm
Unfortunately, yes.

The more truthful argument would be "the US is not (and has arguably never been) a democracy". What is happening now does not reflect the failings of democracy, but its absence. But because the US has branded itself a symbol of freedom, it is easy to portray this unrest, and the brutal crackdowns against it, as representative of democracy.
Well too late now. It is easier to sell a model of government and society when you ensure it is actually working well adequately in the first place. 2020 has been utterly damaging to the image of liberal democracies to people in more authoritarian countries as a whole.
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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by loomer » 2020-06-03 01:52pm

Image
Pictured: A regime-aligned paramilitary from the Bureau of Prisons, deployed to quash dissent and prevent further civil unrest in the streets surrounding the Presidential compound.
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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by loomer » 2020-06-03 02:03pm

The Defence Secretary has voiced opposition to invoking the Insurrection Act. Perhaps we'll see a coup if Trump demands his resignation.
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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by Straha » 2020-06-03 03:01pm

Imperial Overlord wrote:
2020-06-03 12:04pm
I was under the false impression that De Blasio was also obscenely wealthy. I stand corrected.
De Blasio has been a career elected official after doing campaign management stuff early on (he worked for Charlie Rangel and Hillary Clinton when she ran for the Senate). He actually spent some time in Nicaragua helping the Sandinistas way back when.

All of which underscores what a complete disappointment he's been now.
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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by darth_timon » 2020-06-03 05:00pm

I hate what I'm seeing in respect of race relations right now. Some of the stuff on my Facebook feed is horribly ignorant. A lot of 'all lives matter' shit. People are hurting, and yes, some people are carrying out acts of angry violence, which I can't condone (but do understand), but there are so many dogpilers who want to exploit this for the wrong reasons.

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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by Gandalf » 2020-06-03 07:47pm

Apparently Mattis (formerly of seemingly universal right wing adoration) has condemned Trump and backed the uprising.
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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by ray245 » 2020-06-03 07:51pm

Gandalf wrote:
2020-06-03 07:47pm
Apparently Mattis (formerly of seemingly universal right wing adoration) has condemned Trump and backed the uprising.
Hopefully this will result in Trump losing support from a significant section of the Republican base. At this point, Trump is looking like a sinking ship. And most Republicans are not willing to stay on a sinking ship.
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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by Gandalf » 2020-06-03 07:53pm

ray245 wrote:
2020-06-03 07:51pm
Gandalf wrote:
2020-06-03 07:47pm
Apparently Mattis (formerly of seemingly universal right wing adoration) has condemned Trump and backed the uprising.
Hopefully this will result in Trump losing support from a significant section of the Republican base. At this point, Trump is looking like a sinking ship. And most Republicans are not willing to stay on a sinking ship.
Maybe a few, but I think others will just state that he's shown his colours as an agent of Goldstein, the Deep State, or whoever they blame.
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That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
Electric shocking body rocking beat streeting me to death"

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Re: Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

Post by Eulogy » 2020-06-03 08:01pm

The real funny thing about the Kool-Aid drinkers is that as they continue to make more excuses for Trump and pull out more bullshit, it'll become more and more obvious to everyone else that they're fucking crazy and basically drive more and more people against them. Couldn't happen to a nicer cult.
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