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US protests entering a dangerous phase

By Zamir Ahmed Awan (People's Daily Online)    10:29, June 02, 2020

Protests across the US over the death of unarmed African American George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota have entered their sixth day . At least 40 cities have imposed curfews, and National Guard members have been activated in 15 states and Washington, DC. Even the White House is no longer safe, with President Trump being briefly taken to an underground bunker. Armored vehicles and armed troops can be seen everywhere. Protests are spreading rapidly and gaining momentum. Although one former officer, who was seen in a video with his knee on Floyd's neck, has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, protesters and critics believe the charge is not harsh enough. Protesters want to see charges brought against all four police officers involved in Floyd’s death.

Demonstrators are arrested during a protest against the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the United States, May 31, 2020. (Photo by Angus Alexander/Xinhua)

Although it seems that the immediate concern is Floyd’s death, the background to this story is long and sad. Racism in the US has victimized many blacks, Asians, and other minorities, and the feeling of white supremacy has become more obvious, especially under President Trump's administration. Discrimination, hate, and injustice are widely felt. The public has suddenly exploded at this moment, and wants to settle all previous accounts too.

It has been noticed from videos and eye-witness reports that it is not only blacks, but also many white people among the protesters. It is not only black people, but sometimes poor white people who are also victimized. The highly polarized society of the US is on the verge of collapse. As long as the country was prospering and everyone was getting sufficient dividends to live a comfortable life, none of these problems surfaced. However, with the decline of the economy, people are suffering and getting mad. The protests are not only against a single incident; in fact, so many incidents of injustice, hate, and discrimination have piled up to such a degree that the outbreak of protests was inevitable.

The government's capacity for handling such protests was limited, and wrong decisions just made things worse. Peaceful agitation and protests are the legal right of US citizens under their constitution. However, the use of force by the authorities and brutality has forced the protesters to be violent. Remarks like "Shoot on the Spot" are dangerous orders indeed. It is time to deliver justice. The more the government delays or protects the criminal police, the more anger may rise among the protesters.

This "Gun Culture" society is highly charged and can lead to a very dangerous situation. The government's inability to address public concerns promptly and appropriately may complicate the situation further.

In fact, the CIA has been involved in subversion and sabotage activities in foreign countries. The CIA has always been involved in toppling legitimate governments around the world if they consider them “unfriendly". The US penetrates a country under the umbrella of friendship and cultivates disgruntled or destitute people, trains them, funds them, and finally exploits them through various sabotage and subversion activities. The US government is always meddling in the domestic affairs of other countries. Unfortunately, they are not trained to handle protests on their own soil.

Human life is the most precious thing in this universe. The loss of even one life is a net loss to humanity. Whether it is protesters or the administration, the loss of life is regretted. Whether a victim is black or white, the loss of life is not acceptable. Whether it is in America or any other part of the world, the suffering of humankind is not acceptable. Whether rich or poor, whatever religion or ethnicity they belong to, human lives are sacred and must be respected. We sincerely hope for an early end to violence and urge both sides to cool down and observe restraint and patience. Save human lives and respect humanity.

The opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to People's Daily Online.

Zamir Ahmed Awan is a senior fellow with the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) and a sinologist at the National University of Sciences and Technology in Pakistan. E-mail: [email protected]

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