Weekend open thread: America enraged
Massive protests across the country for several nights have been punctuated by police violence, and the president threatens to shoot people.
The past few nights have been intense, as protests across the country this weekend in response to George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis former police officer Derek Chauvin have erupted in many cities.
The crowds have been energized, diverse and massive. There’s been a lot of property damage, but it’s still unclear how much of this has been from outside agitators, including right-wing groups and white supremacists. (Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr have claimed it’s “far-left” agitators, but they offered no evidence, as several reports have shown the presence of right-wing agitators.)
The police violence against protestors, in Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, Louisville, Chicago, Washington and elsewhere, has been nothing short of staggering, often unprovoked.
The president has threatened “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons” in responses to protests outside the White House, as his most fascistic tendencies were on full display.
And journalists have been targeted.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic rages on. It’s a dangerous time, but there’s also a movement galvanizing nationally. Please jump in to the open thread and give your thoughts, comments and feelings, and I’ll jump back in too.
So grateful for your newsletter and the opportunity to connect with you and your listeners. Here in Madison WI the story is the same: peaceful protests until night, then vandalism and violence. One of the stores here that got trashed was a jewelry store owned for decades by a family that contributed a great deal to causes of justice and equality in our community. I don't think the people who smashed their windows and cases knew that or if they did they didn't care.
I've been an activist for 50 years, always following the path of non-violent civil disobedience. The vandalism and violence makes me sad, and not being there at night, I don't know who or what started it. But I've seen the white supremacists and MAGA gun-toters in action enough in other places, fomenting and then blaming the left, to at least believe they instigated if not initiated.
One of the restaurants here, Hawkes bar and Grill, put out a statement something like this, during the peaceful rally in the afternoon: "As a restaurant we are barely hanging on. We don't want to get vandalized. But if we do, we have insurance. We can recover. Decades of intolerable racism have led to this point and must be addressed. We can recover. Black lives lost cannot".
Pretty powerful, and that's where I'm making myself stay despite the fear and upset I feel about the violence and vandalism.
"If you're more upset by how they're protesting than why they're protesting, you still don't get it."
Now the scary "antifa" are terrorists. Fuck trump.