– Denmark says freedom to protest is more important than coronavirus rules
– Man rides on Floyd protesters in Seattle and shoots dead
– Mayor of Seattle, chief of police criticized for police use of flashes, pepper spray
– Romney becomes the first known Republican senator to march in protest
PARIS – The French government is struggling to respond to growing concerns about police violence and racism in the police force, as protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in the United States are fueling anger around the world.
The country’s highest security official, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, is holding a press conference on Monday after protests linked to Floyd in cities across France. He promised last week to be “ruthless” with police violations, but pressure is mounting on the government to act.
French President Emmanuel Macron has so far remained unusually silent both about Floyd’s death and what is going on in France.
French activists say tensions in low-income neighborhoods with large minority populations have worsened amid containment of the virus, as they have further empowered the police.
Some people follow cases of alleged police violence via an app and collect testimonies via social networks.
At least 23,000 people demonstrated Saturday across France against racial injustice and police brutality, and more French protests are scheduled for Tuesday when Floyd is buried.
STOCKHOLM – In a anti-racism demonstration by George Floyd in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second city, police said Monday that five people have been arrested and 35 cases – ranging from riots and vandalism to injuries, refuse to follow orders from the police and resistance to arrest – had been reported.
Part of the otherwise peaceful rally turned against the police. Stones were thrown at their vehicles and demonstrators attempted to break the storefronts of a downtown shopping center.
” It’s ridiculous. It’s not Black Lives Matter for me, “said Yaneneh Jatta, who participated in the protest, to Swedish broadcaster SVT, speaking of the unrest.
Later, a dozen cars were set on fire in a suburb of Gothenburg with a low-income population.
In Copenhagen, 15,000 people marched peacefully on Sunday from the US Embassy to the Danish parliament with signs saying “Black Lives Matter” and “I can’t breathe”.
Danish authorities say freedom of expression, a cornerstone of the Danish Constitution, is more important than a current directive on coronavirus health which limits gatherings to 10 people.
SEATTLE – Authorities say a man drove a car to George Floyd’s protesters in Seattle Sunday evening, hit a barricade and got out of the vehicle brandishing a pistol.
At least one person was injured. The Seattle Fire Department said the victim was a 27-year-old man who was shot and taken to hospital in stable condition.
A video taken by a Seattle Times reporter showed part of the scene in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, where protesters gathered for days near a police station.
SEATTLE – Seattle City Council members sharply criticized Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best after police used flashes and pepper spray to disperse protesters one day after Durkan and Best had said they were trying to defuse the tensions.
Authorities said stones, bottles and explosives were thrown at police in the Capitol Hill neighborhood on Saturday evening. Police said via Twitter that several police officers were injured by “improvised explosives”.
Chaos in the Capitol Hill neighborhood occurred on the ninth consecutive day of the George Floyd protests in the city. He followed a large peaceful demonstration earlier.
It also happened a day after Durkan and Best imposed a 30-day moratorium on the ministry’s use of a type of tear gas.
PHOENIX – Protesters marched through the streets of Phoenix and Scottsdale in two separate social justice protests in memory of a black man killed by an Arizona police officer.
The Arizona Republic reports that organizers in Phoenix said a line of protesters stretched nearly one kilometer on Sunday. Protesters knelt in front of the Arizona Department of Public Safety headquarters to denounce the deaths of black men and women at the hands of the country’s police, including Dion Johnson in Phoenix.
In Scottsdale, up to 1,000 protesters demonstrated, police chief Alan Rodbell marching in uniform near the front.
RALEIGH, N.C. – Add the capital of North Carolina to those who display a bold message denouncing racism painted in large yellow letters on a city street.
Artists painted the words “End Racism Now” on a downtown street on Sunday, reported Raleigh News & Observer. The message was added a few days after the mayor of Washington, DC, painted the words “Black Lives Matter” on a street leading to the White House amid days of protests in the nation’s capital and across the country. response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Floyd died on May 25 after a white officer stuck his knee in the neck of the unarmed black man, ignoring his cries of “I can’t breathe” and keeping him there even after Floyd stopped moving.
Charman Driver, former president of the Martin Street Museum of Contemporary Art, where the painting is located, called it “a very painful totem.” The street leads to the Confederate monuments on the grounds of the State Capitol, which were highlighted as offensive during the protests.
The painting was applied Sunday morning when a city engineer met the artists and brought up barricades to block the street.
” We did it. And it’s wonderful. And we feel really good about it. Our voices are heard, but it’s not enough, “said Driver.
CANBERRA, Australia – Indigenous academic used award to urge Australians to tackle black deaths in custody,
University of Melbourne professor Marcia Langton received an award from the Order of Australia on Monday for her distinguished service to higher education and as an advocate for Indigenous Australians.
Langton defied the pandemic warnings of heads of government by attending a rally in Melbourne on Saturday to protest the death of George Floyd in Minnesota and the high incarceration rate of indigenous people in Australia.
Langton said Australian politicians did not recognize that the disproportionate number of indigenous people sent to prison was an issue and that the police were not trained to prevent the deaths of indigenous people in detention.
“I would have thought it was pretty simple – don’t kill the Aborigines. Is it difficult? Langton told Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt, the first Indigenous to hold the position, said Langton made a poignant remark. He said he would work with state agencies to deal with the large number of indigenous prisoners receiving hospital care.
There have been 434 deaths of Indigenous people in police custody and in prisons in Australia since 1991, when a government investigation reported the problem of black deaths in custody, The Guardian reported.
Indigenous Australians represent 2% of the adult Australian population and 27% of the Australian prison population.
WASHINGTON – Mitt Romney demonstrated to protest police mistreatment of minorities in the nation’s capital, making him the first known Republican senator to do so.
Utah’s Romney posted a tweet showing him wearing a mask as he walked with Black Lives Matter protesters in Washington on Sunday. Above the photo he wrote: Black Lives Matter.
Romney, who was walking with a Christian group, told NBC News that he should be there.
“We need a voice against racism, we need many voices against racism and against brutality,” he said.
On Saturday, Romney tweeted a photo of his father, George, who was the governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, walking with civil rights protesters in the 1960s in a Detroit suburb.
Above the photo, Mitt Romney wrote: “This is my father, George Romney, who takes part in a civil rights march in the suburbs of Detroit in the late 1960s -” Strength alone will not eliminate the riots, “he said. “We must eliminate the problems from which they arise.”
LOS ANGELES – National Guard troops will be withdrawn from the cities of California where they were deployed for a week after rampant violence and robberies marred the first days of protests against the death of George Floyd, officials said Sunday.
The announcement came after peaceful protests broke out again across the state, including one on horseback and one on wheels, while protesters continue to call for police reforms.
“After almost a week of helping civil authorities on the streets of California, California National Guard soldiers will begin to return to their original gun stores,” the Cal Guard said in a statement. A timetable for the withdrawal was not provided.
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said some troops would start leaving on Sunday evening.
“A small number of units will be parked nearby until June 10 to provide emergency support if necessary,” Garcetti said in a statement.
Governor Gavin Newsom said Friday that he would encourage local leaders to end their use of the guard “quickly, but very carefully.”
More than 7,000 National Guard soldiers have been deployed to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento and other cities to assist local law enforcement, said Cal Guard.
While the vast majority of protesters were peaceful, there were violent clashes with the police and hundreds of businesses were ransacked.
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