U.S. protests prompt calls for Britain to tackle its own systemic racism

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets across the United Kingdom again over the weekend in solidarity with protesters in the United States, but also to demand an end to systemic racism in Britain. The marches came after an enormous protest last Wednesday in Hyde Park.

“The U.K. is not innocent,” was written on placards and chanted by marchers who flooded into the streets, bringing traffic to a standstill in central London.

The protests sparked by George Floyd’s death have fueled demands for Britain to acknowledge its own history of racism and tackle prejudice in its own institutions.

“We’re here about the systematic racism against people of color and minorities in general around the world, not just in America,” Black Lives Matter protester, TJ, told CBS News at the protest in Hyde Park on Wednesday.

“This is a system at play that has subjugated African Americans, Africans, people of color for years,” he said, pointing specifically to the 2011 killing of 29-year-old Mark Duggan, a black man fatally shot by London police whose death triggered nationwide rioting.

 

Mitt Romney marches with Black Lives Matter protesters, becoming first GOP senator to join them

Mitt Romney marched with Black Lives Matter protesters in Washington D.C. on Sunday, appearing to be the first Republican senator to participate in the protests. The Utah senator joined demonstrators who were protesting police brutality and racial injustice in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.

He posted a selfie showing him with a face mask among a crowd. He captioned his post: “Black Lives Matter.” 

 

Couple celebrates wedding among thousands of protesters in Philadelphia

A bride and groom in Philadelphia celebrated their union amid a protest for racial justice on Saturday. Dr. Kerry-Anne Gordon and Michael Gordon were taking photographs on their wedding day and decided to join the march near Logan Square. 

The newlyweds left the Logan Hotel, Kerry-Anne in her white gown and Michael in his tux, and were greeted by thousands of protesters, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. 

The protest turned into an impromptu wedding party as demonstrators chanted and cheered for the Gordons, video taken by their officiant, Reverend Roxanne Birchfield, shows. The couple posted for powerful photos which went viral over the weekend.

 

Retired Navy captain apologizes after racial slurs streamed on Facebook

A former member of the U.S. Naval Academy alumni trustees issued an apology Sunday for using racial slurs on social media. Retired Capt. Scott Bethmann was asked to resign as a trustee on Saturday after a live conversation with his wife that was posted on Facebook disparaged admission by the academy of African Americans, Asian Americans and women.

CBS affiliate WJAX-TV reports the couple didn’t appear to realize they were streaming via Facebook Live.

“There are no words that can appropriately express how mortified and apologetic my wife and I are about the insensitive things we said that were captured on social media,” Bethmann said in the statement. “There is never a time when it is appropriate to use derogatory terms when speaking about our fellow man.”

The comments were made by Bethmann and his wife, Nancy, while they were watching TV news and discussing the Black Lives Matter movement. The Florida Times-Union reports they were overheard using a slur for African Americans and making other racial comments on the Facebook Live feed.

CBS/AP

 

French government under mounting pressure to address concerns about police violence, racism

France’s government is scrambling to address growing concerns about police violence and racism within the police force, as protests sparked by George Floyd’s death in the U.S. stir up anger around the world. The country’s top security official, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, was to hold a news conference Monday after Floyd-related demonstrations around France. He promised last week to be “unforgiving” with violations by police, but pressure is growing on the government to act.

French President Emmanuel Macron has stayed unusually silent so far both about Floyd’s death and what’s happening in France.

French activists say tensions in low-income neighborhoods with large minority populations grew worse amid virus confinement measures, because they further empowered the police. 

FRANCE-US-RACISM-PROTEST
People raise their fists as they kneel in front of riot police during a protest at the Champ de Mars, with the Eiffel Tower in the background, in Paris, June 6, 2020, as part of “Black Lives Matter” worldwide protests against racism and police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP/Getty


At least 23,000 people protested around France on Saturday against racial injustice and police brutality, and more French protests are planned for Tuesday, when Floyd is being buried. 

 

NYC begins reopening, but concerns loom over protests

This morning, after nearly three months of being shut down, New York City is beginning phase one of its reopening.

As states reopen across the country, 17 have reported an increase in average daily new COVID-19 cases, compared with two weeks ago – and that is raising concerns among some health experts.  

In New York, phase one means construction projects can restart; manufacturers can get their floors open again; and non-essential retailers can start curbside pickup. It might seem small, but it’s a huge step forward for a city that’s been locked down for more than 80 days.

The next phase of reopening could be just weeks away. But after months of hard-won progress against the coronavirus, there are concerns that the massive demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd’s death could have given the virus a chance to spread again.

To date, more than 200,000 New York City residents have tested positive for the virus. The death toll in the city is estimated to be just over 21,000.

“We’ve tested everything else, we’ve measured everything else,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “Everything was going fine, then we had these large number of protests. We don’t know what the effect of those protests are. And we’re concerned about it.”

 

German government says “must be possible” to socially distance at protests

The German government is calling on people attending anti-racism protests to stick to coronavirus distancing rules. At least 15,000 people demonstrated in Berlin and 25,000 protested in Munich on Saturday and there were protests in other German cities as part of the global demonstrations against racism and police brutality that have followed the May 25 death of American George Floyd.

In some cases, protesters were closely packed together despite German requirements for people to stay 5 feet apart. 

Demonstrators Across Germany Pay Tribute To George Floyd
People protest against racism and police brutality on June 6, 2020 in Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany.

Maja Hitij/Getty


Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said Monday: “It is good if people take to the streets in Germany as well with a clear statement against racism,” but he added: “The pictures that in some cases emerged over the weekend were not good. Both things must be possible: to demonstrate peacefully, which is a fundamental right, and keep to the (social distancing) rules.”

He said many demonstrators “created a big risk for themselves and others.”

 

Final public viewing of George Floyd’s casket set to take place in his hometown of Houston

Mourners will be able to view George Floyd’s casket Monday in his hometown of Houston, the final stop of a series of memorials in his honor. A six-hour viewing will be held at The Fountain of Praise church in southwest Houston. The viewing is open to the public, though visitors will be required to wear a mask and gloves to comply with coronavirus-related guidelines.

Floyd’s funeral will be Tuesday, followed by burial at the Houston Memorial Gardens cemetery in suburban Pearland, where he will be laid to rest next to his mother, Larcenia Floyd.

Former Vice President Joe Biden plans to travel to Houston on Monday to meet with Floyd’s family, opting for a private meeting instead of potentially disrupting Tuesday’s funeral service with extra security measures.

“Vice President Biden will travel to Houston Monday to express his condolences in-person to the Floyd family. He is also recording a video message for the funeral service,” a spokesman said Sunday.

An aide familiar with the plans told CBS News Biden doesn’t want his Secret Service protection to complicate the funeral service, but wanted to give his condolences in person.

— CBS/AP

 

U.K. leader says protests “subverted by thuggery” after clashes

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson says anti-racism demonstrations have been “subverted by thuggery” after protesters tore down a statue of a slave trader in the city of Bristol and scrawled graffiti on a statue of Winston Churchill in London.

London’s Metropolitan police say a dozen people were arrested and eight officers injured after demonstrators clashed Sunday with police in central London.

Johnson says while people have a right to peacefully protest, they have no right to attack the police. He says “these demonstrations have been subverted by thuggery — and they are a betrayal of the cause they purport to serve.” 

Thousands rally worldwide for Black Lives Matter

Crime, Policing and Justice Minister Kit Malthouse called Monday for those responsible for toppling the bronze memorial to slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol to be prosecuted.

But Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees told the BBC that while he doesn’t condone criminal damage, he felt no “sense of loss” for the statue. 

 

Fans match K-pop group BTS’ $1 million Black Lives Matter donation

Fans of K-pop megastars BTS raised and donated $1 million to the Black Lives Matter movement. The donation matched the septet’s donation of the same amount within 24 hours, organizers said Monday. 

The band’s managers Big Hit Entertainment said at the weekend that they and BTS — currently one of the biggest acts in the world — had jointly donated $1 million to the ongoing anti-racism movement in the U.S. and beyond, triggered by the death in police custody of an unarmed black man as an officer knelt on his neck.

“We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence,” BTS said in a tweet last week, which has since been retweeted around 1 million times.

The Big Hit announcement soon sparked a #MatchAMillion hashtag trending worldwide on Twitter, with a set of BTS fans — One in an Army — setting up an online donation project for the cause. On Monday morning, One in an Army announced they had raised just over $1 million from nearly 35,000 donors.

 

Man drives car toward protesters then shoots one, police say

Authorities say a man drove a car at George Floyd protesters in Seattle Sunday night, hit a barricade then exited the vehicle brandishing a pistol. At least one person was injured.

The victim was a 27-year-old male who was shot and taken to a hospital in stable condition, the Seattle Fire Department said.

The alleged gunman was later attested, CBS Seattle affiliate KIRO-TV reports.

It was the second night of mayhem near the police station. On Saturday night, police used flash bang devices and pepper spray to disperse protesters on Capitol Hill. Seattle City Council members sharply criticized Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best for the police action.

– CBS/AP

 

Man charged in slaying of retired St. Louis police captain David Dorn

A 24-year-old St. Louis man has been charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a retired police captain who died on a night of violent protests while trying to protect his friend’s pawn shop, the city’s prosecutor announced Sunday

Stephan Cannon was being held without bond on a first-degree murder charge in the death of David Dorn, 77, who was killed Tuesday on the sidewalk outside Lee’s Pawn and Jewelry. Dorn’s last moments were caught on video and apparently posted on Facebook Live, though the video has since been taken down.

Dorn’s death came on a violent night in St. Louis, where four officers were shot, officers were pelted with rocks and fireworks, and 55 businesses were burglarized or damaged, including a convenience store that burned. 

 

Protesters in England topple statue of slave trader Edward Colston into harbor

A statue of slave trader Edward Colston was torn down and thrown into Bristol Harbor on Sunday by protesters demonstrating against racism and police brutality in England. According to the BBC, one person was seen with their knee on the statue’s neck in reference to the fatal arrest of George Floyd, whose death in Minneapolis inspired protests across the globe.

The bronze statue was erected in 1895, more than 150 years after Colston’s death and 88 years after Britain abolished the slave trade in 1807. Colston played a key role in the Royal African Company, a 17th century slave trader responsible for transporting around 80,000 indentured people to the Americas. Read more here.

 

Minneapolis City Council members announces intent to radically change their city’s police department

Nine out of 13 Minneapolis City Council members announced Sunday their intent to disband the city’s police department, CBS Minnesota reports.  

The alternative offer had to do with taking the department money and putting it toward community initiatives that strengthen safety, CBS Minnesota points out. Concrete details about how to do the work of dismantling MPD were less defined, although council member Philippe Cunningham said the upcoming budget is a great place to start.

“We’re not going to tomorrow all the sudden have nobody for you to call for help. There will be thoughtful and intentional work that’s done, research engagement, learning that happens in a transition that will happen over time,” Cunningham said.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey issued a statement Sunday addressing the need for reform, but said he doesn’t support disbanding the police department. Read more here





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