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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/30/20

Eruptions of Rage in Minneapolis and across the US over the Cop Murder of George Floyd are Uprisings, Not 'Riots'

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Minneapolis Stores Set on Fire After Death of George Floyd May.29 -- Aerial footage shows stores set on fire during protests over the death of African American George Floyd while in police custody.
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By Dave Lindorff

America's cities are burning again.

In Minneapolis, after an unarmed and unresisting George Floyd, 46 and black, was killed by a white cop after being arrested for the non-violent alleged crime of trying to pass a fake $20 bill, protests immediately erupted.

Minneapolis cops, with a reputation for violence, responded to the initial protest with tear gas, rubber bullets and physical violence. After that the protests became more determined, leading to the overrunning and torching of a police precinct station, damage to stores and other businesses, and the blockading of streets and bridges. Eventually a major call-up of the state's National Guard was ordered by the state's governor in an effort to regain control of the situation.

But the protests continue in the face of this martial law action.

As the protests grew, the killer cop, Derek Chauvin, was summarily fired and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter for having put his knee and body weight on a prone, face-down Floyd for nearly nine minutes, during which time Floyd cried out that he couldn't breathe and pleaded for his life until his heart stopped. The other three cops who stood by and allowed fellow officer Chauvin to brutalize and kill Floyd, were also fired, but have not been charged with wrongdoing or even professional for not stopping their brutal fellow officer's abuse.

Meanwhile, across the country other protests erupted from Atlanta to New York City, and from Los Angeles and Oakland to Philadelphia, as well as at points in between like Memphis, Columbus and Denver.

Predictably, we're hearing the voices of moderation condemning the "violence." Not the violence of the police, mind you, which often, as in Minneapolis, precedes violence among protesters in cases like this, but the "violence" of the protesters.

"Citizens rightly assembled, expressed their outrage [at Floyd's death] and called for the arrests of Chauvin and those three cops/spectators who let this happen," said Fox TV commentator Deroy Murdock. "But then things went too far. The protests as CNN called them even after the violence erupted soon became riots."

In Atlanta, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms called an end for the city's rioting, saying, "This is not a protest. This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. This is chaos."

But here's the thing: This is protest. The reason these other cities are seeing these uprisings in response to the police murder of George Floyd is because each of these cities has its own brutal, militarized police force which regularly abuses black and poor people too.

And the protest that's burning across much of Minneapolis is protest that works. Odds are that had protesters in Minneapolis simply assembled in a permitted park to demonstrate politely and listen to speeches denouncing George Floyd's killer, Officer Chauvis, this thug cop would probably never have been charged with murder"

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Dave Lindorff, winner of a 2019 "Izzy" Award for Outstanding Independent Journalism from the Park Center for Independent Media in Ithaca, is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper (more...)

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