After another night of unrest, looting, and clashes with police in American cities, anti-racism protests continued on Tuesday in the United States, where the martial tone of Donald Trump, determined to restore order by resorting to it if necessary army, making new waves.
Eight days after the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a black man asphyxiated by a white police officer, the wave of historic anger against racism, police brutality and social inequality which shakes the United States knows no respite.
Tuesday evening, several thousand people, including Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, still peacefully defied the curfew in the federal capital. The outskirts of the White House were however blocked by barriers, preventing any direct confrontation.
Washington, where more than 300 protesters were arrested Monday night, “was the safest place on the planet last night,” the Republican billionaire, who assumed the position of president of “law and order ”.
“I want him to be done justice because he was good, no matter what people think, he was a good person,” his partner Roxie Washington said in tears at a conference. press in Minneapolis on Tuesday.
At least 60,000 people paid tribute to the deceased at a peaceful rally in Houston, the Texas city where he grew up and where he is to be buried next week. “We want them to know that George did not die in vain,” said city mayor Sylvester Turner.
In Manhattan, several thousand demonstrators, black and white, gathered to protest peacefully near the New York police headquarters, chanting “George Floyd, George Floyd” or “Black Lives Matter! (“Black lives matter”), a rallying cry against police violence targeting African-Americans.
“Beat him in November”
Nat Hooper, a 27-year-old black bookseller, denounced Donald Trump’s threat to deploy the military to check on the streets.
“We have to beat him in November,” he said, as the race question broke out in the battle for the White House five months before the presidential election. “Most of us demonstrate peacefully, we only want change. “
Calm reigned Tuesday evening in Minneapolis, epicenter of this new surge of anger. But the unrest has spread to more than a hundred American cities, with thousands of arrests and several injured in the ranks of law enforcement and protesters.
In New York, where several department stores on famed 5th Avenue were looted Monday night, the Monday night curfew was brought in at 8 p.m. and extended until Sunday.
“Inexcusable” looting, according to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo. While criticizing the mayor and the police, he refused to mobilize the National Guard, as did other cities and as claimed by Donald Trump.
In a muscular speech, the American president announced Monday evening the deployment of “thousands of heavily armed soldiers” and police in Washington to put an end to “the riots” and “the looting”. And he called on the governors to “dominate the streets” while threatening to send the army “to quickly resolve the problem for them” if they did not act according to his instructions.
Just before his speech, law enforcement dispersed many protesters outside the White House with tear gas and then allowed the president to walk to an iconic church that had deteriorated the previous day. This gesture was denounced by Protestant and Catholic leaders who condemned a “morally repugnant” coup.
” Battlefield “
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser protested the sending of the military “to the streets of the United States against the Americans”, an attack resumed by many Democratic governors.
Because the crisis, in a country already extremely divided, is taking an increasingly political turn.
Democratic presidential candidate November 3, Joe Biden, accused Donald Trump of “turning this country into a battlefield plagued by old grudges and fears” on Tuesday.
During a trip to Philadelphia, he promised to “heal the racial wounds that have plagued our country for so long.”
Former Republican President George W. Bush said it was “time for America to examine our tragic failures.”
Faced with protests, which occur in the United States where social and racial inequalities are already exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Donald Trump has remained silent so far on the responses to the evils denounced by the demonstrators.
And only briefly touched on the Americans’ “revolt” over the conditions of George Floyd’s death.
The 46-year-old man died on May 25 while repeating “I can’t breathe”, lying on the floor, handcuffed and with his neck under the knee of a police officer, whose colleagues remained passive.
Autopsies confirmed that the death was due to lethal pressure in his neck.
The author of the blunder, Constable Derek Chauvin, was fired by the police, then arrested and charged with manslaughter.