George Floyd Protests Explained: With the world still in the midst of a pandemic, protesters in all 50 states have been forced to leave their homes and march their streets hoping for a change that has been avoided for too long. Regardless of skin color, people are showing what a truly united nation can achieve by working in solidarity with each other.
George Floyd Protests Explained
These peaceful protests started after George Floyd was murdered by a police office on camera. This is just the latest in a number of other murders committed by police officers over the years. Some of the more prominent names are Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, and Breonna Taylor. There are all people of color that were killed by police officers. Protests first started in Minnesota, but quickly moved on to District of Columbia, Washington, California, Oregon, and all other states. Police killings are becoming the norm, and this is unacceptable.
What Exactly Happened to George Floyd
On 25 May 2020, Derek Chauvin, a Minnesota police officer killed 46 year old George Floyd, by kneeling on his neck for almost 9 minutes. Mr Floyd was handcuffed and lying face-down on the street. He called out multiple times that he could not breathe, but the officer continued to kneel on his neck, while taunting him to get up.
Two other officers were restraining Mr Floyd’s lower body, while a fourth officer prevented onlookers from intervening. Onlookers recorded the whole ordeal while pleading for the officers to listen to Mr Floyd’s pleas for help. Instead, all 4 officers ignored the public onlookers, the cameras, and the dying pleas of Mr Floyd.
Why Are People Protesting Around The World?
This, in turn, has brought people together around the world to protest both the police brutality in the US, as well as police brutality worldwide. Police are meant to serve and protect their communities, but have now become enforcers that are above and beyond any laws. Police are more feared than respected in this day and age. Most people know that they will be talked down to and humiliated when speaking to a cop. For someone that works for us – this should NEVER be the case.
Why Are Protesters Looting?
For the most part, they are not. Peaceful protests have been taking place all over the USA. As the name says “United States of America”, all states should be united in creating a safe society for everyone living their as well as future generations.
There have been a people that have taken advantage of the protests to loot businesses. During protests there are a lot of people on the street, making it difficult for emergency services to reach businesses that are being looted. This makes it an ideal time for thieves to act.
As with any protest to bring decency back into a country, right-wing activists have also been implicated in looting and setting fires. By doing so, they can make it seem that protesters are violent and out of control, which is a narrative they concoct whenever any sort of positive change is being made.
Of course, there are protesters that have engaged in setting fires and looting, but these are in the minority, and can be classed as “a few bad apples”.
Are Protesters Attacking Police?
There are numerous photos and videos of protesters face-to-face with police officers. Shouting to get your point across is very common in protests (that are not of the silent type). Throwing of plastic bottles has been caught on video, but this is far from “attacking” in any use of the word.
Police that have shown their support for the protests have been accepted into the united community with open arms. Many that have turned up to protests in full riot gear, spraying pepper spray and throwing tear gas, have been met with courage by protesters with very few injuries sustained to police.
If protesters used the same force that police are currently using against them, there would be bloodshed and mayhem. In a country with an inexplicable love of firearms, there are very few guns (if any) on show at these protests. It just goes to show that the courageous are able to go out and put themselves in harms way while the weak hide behind their guns.
In May, protesters – shouting for America to reopen to get their hair cut during a pandemic – marched the streets with body armor and guns. They were not harmed by police, they were not tear-gassed, they were not shot with rubber bullets, and they were not pepper sprayed. This clearly shows that free speech is only available to those that are white, rich and conservatives.
What Do Protesters Want to Achieve
At the start of these protests, demands were not very clear. There was and still is a lot of anger for these consistent murders that are allowed by current laws, law enforcement and politicians.
But now, the Black Lives Matter movement is starting to find clear solutions that can be put in place to help prevent future killings. The main objective now is to get states to defund law enforcement. At first, this might seem like a step in the wrong direction, but it’s actually a great idea.
The cost of one set of riot gear could cover the costs of personal protective equipment for 31 nurses. However, while nurses have been saving lives wearing black rubbish bags and home-made masks, police are violently attacking protesters in full riot gear – with unlimited tear gas and rubber bullets.
A real change requires REAL CHANGE. Taking money out of the police’ budget and putting it into social services, would help communities way more. Perhaps having to actually keep stock of how many bullets are fired, would prevent cops from fatally shooting innocent women in their homes. Perhaps using the millions spent on buying weapons to kill members of the community, this money could be used in hospitals to save them.