Protests, riots, looting and blaming continue in US

Protests over the death of George Floyd have continued for seven days in the United States, escalating to riots, looting and  vandalism. And there are plenty of attempts to blame and to divert blame in a chaotic situation.

President Trump threatened to use the military to quash any riots and looting, but protests and looting continued regardless.

Fox News: Trump signs order on religious freedom, as DC archbishop slams shrine visit

President Trump signed an executive order on religious freedom Tuesday as Washington, D.C. Archbishop Wilton Gregory slammed the president and first lady’s visit to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine amid the protests taking place across the country.

The executive order has not been publicly released but a senior administration official told Fox News it was meant to protect “people of faith around the world.” White House aide Kellyanne Conway confirmed to reporters that Trump signed the order Tuesday afternoon.

“This executive order fully integrates the president’s vision – a vigorous defense of international religious freedom rights for all – into key aspects of United States foreign policy,” the official said. “Yet again, President Trump is taking a decisive action to keep his promise to people of faith around the world.”

Seems very off timing for this, but Trump haas also tried playing a religious card in Washington, and it hasn’t gone down well.

Earlier Tuesday, Trump and first lady Melania Trump paid a visit to the National Shrine in Washington, a place of prayer for Catholics. It came after Trump on Monday night walked out of the White House and across the street to St. John’s Episcopal Church, which caught fire amid the protests following Floyd’s death.

During their visit to the shrine, they laid a wreath under the statue of Saint John Paul II. They also visited the Luminous Mysteries Chapel, John Paul II Blood Relic, and the Madonna Icon.

But Washington Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory delivered a scathing condemnation of the president’s visit, saying he opposed letting the president visit the site.

“I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles, which call us to defend the rights of all people even those with whom we might disagree,” the archbishop said in a statement. “Saint Pope John Paul II was an ardent defender of the rights and dignity of human beings. His legacy bears vivid witness to that truth. He certainly would not condone the use of tear gas and other deterrents to silence, scatter or intimidate them for a photo opportunity in front of a place of worship and peace.”

On Monday night, the president visited St. John’s, holding up a Bible and posing for a photo outside the church which caught fire Sunday night. Prior to his visit — and a mandated curfew in the city — law enforcement took steps to move protesters out of Lafayette Park.

Major problems in New York –  Cuomo blasts mayor, NYPD for ‘disgrace’ handling riots, claims power to ‘displace’ de Blasio

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday slammed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s handling of riots in his city, calling it a “disgrace” and saying he has the power to “displace” the mayor — although doesn’t want to at this point.

“The NYPD and the mayor did not do their job last night, I believe that,” Cuomo said of the mayor.

Cuomo spoke after another night of devastation in the Big Apple, after protests in response to the death of George Floyd again devolved into riots and looting. The New York City Police Department tells Fox News that 700 arrests were made overnight. A half dozen police officers were injured, while at least six police vehicles were vandalized.

Cuomo said at a press conference that the mayor “underestimates” the scope and duration of the problem, suggesting he needs to deploy more police.

Many cities and states have had difficulties dealing with the problems.

Trump’s response to police killing threatens to further deepen unrest in America, Democrats and Republicans say

President Donald Trump pledged a crackdown on the protests that arose from the police killing of George Floyd, sparking concerns from some Democrats and Republicans that his response to the crisis further deepens the divide in a country already unnerved by a pandemic, distressed economy and racial unrest.

The President tweeted on Saturday that if protesters breached the White House’s fence, they would “have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen.” And he called on Democratic officials to “get MUCH tougher” or the federal government “will step in and do what has to be done, and that includes using the unlimited power of our Military and many arrests.”

Elected officials on both sides of the aisle said on Sunday that the President should instead focus on unifying the nation or decline to address the country at all.

“He should just stop talking,” said Democratic Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper. “He speaks and he makes it worse.”

“It’s sort of continuing to escalate the rhetoric,” added Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on CNN. “I think it’s just the opposite of the message that should have been coming out of the White House.”

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, also urged Trump to help “calm the nation” and to stop sending “divisive tweets” in an interview Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Her comments followed a press conference Saturday where Bowser noted how Trump’s reference to the “vicious dogs” was “no subtle reminder” of segregationists who would attack African Americans with dogs.

On Fox News Sunday, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott said that some of Trump’s tweets were “not constructive.” Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, said he talked with the President on Saturday and told him that it’s beneficial for him to “focus” on the death of Floyd and to “recognize the benefit of nonviolent protests.”

Trump did address Floyd’s death on Saturday during a speech at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida after the NASA/SpaceX rocket launch, saying that he was “in firm opposition to anyone exploiting this tragedy to loot, rob, attack and menace” and that “healing, not hatred” is “the mission at hand.”

“The death of George Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis was a grave tragedy. It should never have happened,” the President said. “It has filled Americans all over the country with horror, anger and grief.”

Illinois man accused of passing out explosives at Minneapolis George Floyd protest

Federal prosecutors have arrested an Illinois man they say attended a George Floyd protest in Minneapolis, and recorded himself handing out explosives and saying “we came to riot.”

Matthew Lee Rupert, 28, of Galesburg, Ill., described by prosecutors as having “distinctive gold teeth,” was charged Monday with civil disorder, carrying on a riot and possession of unregistered destructive devices.

Prosecutors in Minnesota said they have evidence showing Rupert particpated in the George Floyd protest in Minneapolis on Friday, after traveling from Illinois.

The difference between Democratic and Republican reactions to the protests: Elevate George Floyd or ‘antifa’?

There are two things about the protests against police brutality ripping through the nation that Democratic and Republican lawmakers generally agree on:

  1. George Floyd should not have died the way he did, after a white officer knelt on his neck.
  2. Looting, vandalism and violence that have dominated some protests after dark are bad.

But on social media, in statements and in interviews, there’s a clear partisan difference between which of these two points members of Congress choose to emphasize, with Republicans choosing to focus on the second while Democrats the first. It portends that how the nation’s leaders react to these protests, and whether they choose to institute any reforms, will likely be mired in politics.

Some Republican senators have followed President Trump and his administration’s cues to focus less on the grievances of the protesters and more on the looting and rioting after dark. Trump and his attorney general have, without citing evidence, accused far-left actors, known as “antifa,” of orchestrating much of the protests.

Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.), a top Senate Republican, raised up comments made over the weekend by Trump’s national security adviser saying the protests were actually helping foreign adversaries undermine America’s standing in the world.

Americans are doing plenty (and not doing plenty) that undermines their standing in the world, but I guess it’s easier to blame someone else.

Other Republican lawmakers were more measured in their response — going out of their way to acknowledge the anger in the black community about Floyd’s death and other police killings. But most circled their comments back to speaking out against the looting. It often seemed like condemning portions of the protests, rather than Floyd’s death, was their reason for speaking out.

Democrats, by contrast, focused almost entirely on the anger and injustice driving the protests, and sometimes sought to reframe the vast majority of protesters in a positive light — and police in a negative one.

Partisan positioning and game playing is just one of the problems being exposed in the US.

There are claims that Attorney General Wiliam Barr was involve din the tear gassing and clearing of protesters in Washington.

Military personnel, equipment seen in DC after Trump promised to ‘dominate the streets’

Military helicopters, vehicles and personnel began to descend on the streets of Washington, D.C., Monday night, hours after President Donald Trump promised to “dominate the streets” and protesters demonstrating peacefully were pushed back with tear gas to make way for the president to visit a nearby church.

The arrests and military show of force occurred in the hours after law enforcement officers used shields and tear gas to clear protesters from a park across the street from the White House as Trump prepared to make comments in the Rose Garden.

The Department of Justice later issued a statement saying Trump directed Attorney General Wiliam Barr “assist in the restoration of order to the District of Columbia.”

The statement went on to say that several federal agencies, including the FBI, ATF and DEA, were coordinating to “maximize federal security presence” in DC.

Tensions rise after police are shot; Trump pushes crackdown

President Trump taunted state governors for not embracing his proposal to send in the military to quell the unrest, after five officers were shot and wounded in an escalation of tensions between the police and crowds protesting the killing of George Floyd.

“New York was lost to the looters, thugs, Radical Left, and all others forms of Lowlife & Scum. The Governor refuses to accept my offer of a dominating National Guard. NYC was ripped to pieces,” tweeted Trump, a Republican, in a reference to New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Trump has provided no evidence that leftists are behind the violence that has engulfed U.S. cities.

The head of the National Guard, General Joseph Lengyel, said violence had decreased across the United States on Monday night, even as protest activity was sustained or increased.

Protests over Floyd’s death expose raw race relations worldwide

Images of a white police officer kneeling on the neck of African-American George Floyd who then died have sparked protests from Amsterdam to Nairobi, but they also expose deeper grievances among demonstrators over strained race relations in their own countries.

With violent clashes between protesters and authorities raging in the United States, anti-police-brutality activists gathered by the thousands in support of the “Black Lives Matter” movement in various European and African cities.

There have also been protests in New Zealand. The difference here and around the world is that protests have been peaceful.

In the US the problems are greater, and there is no easy way of repairing the damage.

Leave a comment

57 Comments

  1. Duker

     /  3rd June 2020

    More on the St Johns Church Washington , behind the Whitehouse where Trump did his photo -op
    The rector of St John’s Church in Lafayette Square, close to the White House, said she was driven off the property by police to clear the way for a visit by Trump.
    Church staff said they had no warning of the visit and were “appalled at the violent clearing” of the area.
    “Gerbasi said she had been passing out water and snacks to peaceful protesters on the patio area of the church with fellow clergy when police began clearing people from the park about 6.15pm.

    “We were literally DRIVEN OFF of the St. John’s, Lafayette Square patio with tear gas and concussion grenades and police in full riot gear,” Gerbasi wrote.
    She said she couldn’t believe it when she found out they had been driven away from the site so that Trump could get a photo.”

    So the Clergy are forced off the Church premises so that Trump , unannounced can make a quick photo call…holding a bible
    The Church is across the street from the public park and surrounded by other private owned buildings
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12336742

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  3rd June 2020

      You do you know most of this is not true don’t you?

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  3rd June 2020

        They are quoted as saying so and they were there
        While you werent…easy isnt it

        Remember the US 1st Amendment
        ” Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;……or the right of the people peaceably to assemble’

        Even the US Military officers who walked with Trump didnt know of the visit to the Church
        The Archbishop of Washington didnt approve the visit to the other catholic Shrine either
        ( from maps it seems its on church property too, surrounded by other catholic organisations)
        Do you see a pattern here ?

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  3rd June 2020

          “They are quoted as saying so and they were there
          While you werent…easy isnt it”

          Yes, this is what they were quoted as saying. Very different view from the US Park Service. The narrative is more important to you than any actual truth.

          “Park Police acting Chief Gregory Monahan pushed back on a prevailing narrative that authorities cleared way for Trump in an afternoon statement nearly 24 hours after the fracas aired live by TV crews, some of whom were struck by authorities.

          Monahan specifically denied a widespread claim that Park Police or another agency, such as Secret Service or the National Guard, deployed tear gas against demonstrators protesting the killing of George Floyd by Minnesota police, as was widely reported and alleged, including by Trump’s presumed Democratic opponent Joe Biden.”

          The Park Police chief, whose beleaguered force was pelted with bricks and water bottles throughout Saturday and Sunday night, said that on Monday, officers advanced around 6:33 pm and “violent protestors on H Street NW began throwing projectiles including bricks, frozen water bottles and caustic liquids.”

          “The protestors also climbed onto a historic building at the north end of Lafayette Park that was destroyed by arson days prior,” Monahan said. “Intelligence had revealed calls for violence against the police, and officers found caches of glass bottles, baseball bats and metal poles hidden along the street. To curtail the violence that was underway, the USPP, following established policy, issued three warnings over a loudspeaker to alert demonstrators on H Street to evacuate the area. Horse mounted patrol, Civil Disturbance Units and additional personnel were used to clear the area.”

          https://www.nps.gov/subjects/uspp/6_2_20_statement_from_acting_chief_monahan.htm

          Reply
        • Pink David

           /  3rd June 2020

          “Remember the US 1st Amendment
          ” Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;……or the right of the people peaceably to assemble’”

          This tweet from bill rather puts this all into perspective don’t you think?

          Reply
        • Pink David

           /  3rd June 2020

          Do you see a pattern here ?

          “As many of the protestors became more combative, continued to throw projectiles, and attempted to grab officers’ weapons, officers then employed the use of smoke canisters and pepper balls. No tear gas was used by USPP officers or other assisting law enforcement partners “

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  3rd June 2020

            So the Police chief says ‘intelligence was received’, which coincided with Trumps walk through the park ( which the police could control) to the Church grounds with a bible ( which was private property)
            Its a story constructed after , and a bad one at that.

            Religions arent exempt from the general laws that apply to everyone else. Quarantine is been in US law since their early days ….because you know epidemics were more common too. And applies to everyone and includes closing places of worship.

            The ‘free exercise’ part has never meant they cant restrict meeting sizes etc , its legal meaning is more the ‘doctrine and rites’ than merely gathering together.
            A language school isnt ‘exercising their religion’ , just as the wailing wall isnt a religious site but a historical artifact of which Jerusalem has many.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  3rd June 2020

              This is exactly how it played out from inside the Whitehouse
              “The only problem: A plan developed earlier in the day to expand the security perimeter around the White House had not been carried out. When Attorney General William P. Barr strode out of the White House gates for a personal inspection early Monday evening, he discovered that protesters were still on the northern edge of the square. For the president to make it to St. John’s Church, they would have to be cleared out. Mr. Barr gave the order to disperse them.

              What ensued was a burst of violence unlike any seen in the shadow of the White House in generations. As he prepared for his surprise march to the church, Mr. Trump first went before cameras in the Rose Garden …

              “Aides on Tuesday defended Mr. Trump’s walk to the church, given that a small fire had been set in its basement during demonstrations over the weekend.

              And from the people on the church grounds
              “Some form of chemical agent was fired at protesters, flash bang grenades went off and mounted police moved toward the crowds. “People were dropping to the ground” at the sound of bangs and pops that sounded like gunfire, [Church Rector] Ms. Gerbasi said. “We started seeing and smelling tear gas, and people were running at us.”

              By 6:30 p.m., she said, “Suddenly the police were on the patio of St. John’s Church in a line, literally pushing and shoving people off of the patio.”

              Julia Dominick, a seminarian with the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va., and a former emergency room nurse, was tending to a hurt protester when a police line advanced.

              “There was not a warning,” she said. “I’ve never been in a war. I’ve never been shot at. I’ve never been afraid in that way. Those sounds and the gas, it will be with me.”
              The photos and video show police clubbing news people and others who posed no threat

            • Duker

               /  3rd June 2020

              Notice the clouds of ‘not teargas’….actually a fine powder despite the term

            • Pink David

               /  3rd June 2020

              It’s smoke buddy.

              Tear gas would be better. It would assist with the social distancing.

    • Pink David

       /  3rd June 2020

      Scott Adams nails it…

      Reply
  2. duperez

     /  3rd June 2020

    A bit disappointing the calm voices hacked the autocue and had their spiel go up to be read out.

    I hacked the WH trash and retrieved the real words:

    We have it totally under control. … It’s going to be just fine.

    We think we have it very well under control. Overall we have a little problem in this country at this moment. And those involved are being seen to successfully. But we’re working very hard and we think it’s going to have a very good ending for it. So that I can assure you.

    I think that we’re doing a great job.
 We have contained this. I won’t say airtight, but pretty close to airtight. We have done a good job in the United States.

    And again, when you have a few people causing trouble, and those small numbers within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.

    It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.

    We’re prepared, we’ve always been prepared and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.

    Federal Government is working very well with the Governors and State officials. Good things will happen.

    I’ve always known this is real trouble — this is just trouble in Democrat states. I felt it was just trouble in Democrat states long before it was called that.


    So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common flu., 207,000 have died from covid-19. This is only about one person and it’s beautiful. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on.”

    Reply
    • artcroft

       /  3rd June 2020

      Great hacking job. No surprises about the content, however you missed;
      “We will build a big wonderful wall between us and the rioters, a truely beautiful wall, and Mexico will pay for it”.

      Reply
  3. Gezza

     /  3rd June 2020

    Who’s this dodgy masked white guy “umbrella man” who’s been walking around smashing shop windows with a hammer?

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12336363&ref=recommendedv1

    And why didn’t a few of those standing around tackle the creep?

    Reply
    • I admire your willingness to charge a hammer-wielding provocateur, when you are armed only with a keyboard… you’re a braver man than I, Gungha Din.

      Something is seriously off about him, I agree:
      – a strange choice of clothes for a warm day
      – a high quality gas mask
      – doesn’t engage with other protesters
      – walks away the moment he’s confronted by people trying to stop him
      – “Are you a f—ing cop?” someone yells at him. “Does it matter?” Umbrella Man responds

      There’s been a bit of this going on: Teams of 3 to 4 white men dressed in black, coordinated, often with communications systems, operating like a paramilitary squad to spread damage. No interactions with protestors. In and out – one sprays graffiti, a second smashes a window, a third tosses in an incendiary device, then all leave together.

      Reply
  4. A statement from the Washington Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory regarding the visit from the president to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine:

    Click to access 060220-ADW-Press-Release.pdf

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  3rd June 2020

      Have you read her statement condemning the people who tried to burn down her church?

      Reply
      • artcroft

         /  3rd June 2020

        Were these the same people who the police tear gases, so Donald could do his walk about.

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  3rd June 2020

          No one was tear gased, so I think this is unlikely.

          Reply
          • artcroft

             /  3rd June 2020

            Best get the Archbishop to amend his statement then as he maintains people were tear gassed. As per the above release.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  3rd June 2020

              It was some sort of police fired rounds that make the eyes water or mouth irritated.
              Technically it’s a powder which billows to form a fine mist or a pepper ball field by police
              The demonstrators reported the bangs which indicate these crowd control agents were being fired amounfg others

            • Pink David

               /  3rd June 2020

              Smoke grenades, pepper balls and flash bangs.

    • That poor girl seemed to be catching her feet in the car door as she tried to get out, she was obviously shaking with terror. Was any reason given for this ? They didn’t seem to be doing anything except getting stuck in traffic.

      Reply
    • artcroft

       /  3rd June 2020

      The police are still reading from last weeks script where ‘Peace offices’ are allowed to bash and murder indiscriminately.

      Reply
  5. Corky

     /  3rd June 2020

    More over reaction again. However, the first 5-10 seconds of the clip are interesting. Seems like these cops wanted to send a message. Thick as Pigshite… body cams and onlookers.
    What better place to lose your rag?

    Reply
    • Yes, it’s total over-reaction to be terrified of armed police who have just smashed your window, tasered you, broken bones and bashed you.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  3rd June 2020

        Oops…I must have missed that in the beginning of the clip.

        Reply
  6. Pink David

     /  3rd June 2020

    When are the protests going to be held in NZ for this black man murdered doing the right thing?

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  3rd June 2020

      I think that’s booked in for after the protests about Maori domestic violence stats, and the killing of babies( another two before the courts I believe.). The problems with Polynesians causing problems in hospitals as visitors…and the racism shown against white folk in the hospital system will follow.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  3rd June 2020

        There’ve been heaps of rallies & protests about domestic violence in NZ. And impassioned speeches against it on marae. And they make bugger-all difference.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  3rd June 2020

          How do you change a culture?

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  3rd June 2020

            More movies & documentaries like Once Were Warriors that tell it like it is. Minimum 6 per year. NZ cop shows where the officers are followed to incidents & the events videoed.

            It gets buried by the Davidson’s, Turias, Ghahramans, Harawiras, Foxes, Flavells, who all want to blame the pakehas for it. And they get the air time. The reality is hidden in statistics & the occasional court case report.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  3rd June 2020

              I don’t think that subculture will be influenced by TV shows or films.

        • Corky

           /  3rd June 2020

          Correct.

          Reply
    • Gezza

       /  3rd June 2020

      Are you telling us US cops murdered this man too?

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  3rd June 2020

        No. I’m actually against most murders regardless of who committed it. Nor do I see a killing by a Police officer as being justification to then kill other Police officers, or retired police officers trying to protect their businesses.

        Reply
    • Duker

       /  3rd June 2020

      Why have so many guns is the issue you should be talking about

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  3rd June 2020

        Police are systemically racist and kill too many people.
        Only the Police should have guns.

        Which one did you pick?

        Reply
    • The dead man moves and closes his eyes near the end of this video.

      Reply
    • artcroft

       /  3rd June 2020

      The allegations about Floyd are BS.

      Reply
  7. Pink David

     /  3rd June 2020

    So, who thinks this is now all just a cosmic joke being played on us all?

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  3rd June 2020

      Two things I would say about that.

      1- They are Jews.
      2- They aren’t black.

      Two strikes..and you are out.

      Reply
  8. Pink David

     /  3rd June 2020

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s