Tag Archives: protest

Germany protest: Police officers ‘wounded’

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Some 45 police officers were injured in a wave of weekend demonstrations in Berlin including protests against coronavirus restrictions, police said as protesters gathered again in smaller numbers on Sunday.

A total of 133 people were arrested during Saturday’s protests, which included a huge “day of freedom” demo against coronavirus restrictions, police said in a statement.

The arrests were for offences including resisting police officers, breach of the peace and the use of unconstitutional symbols.

Three officers required hospital treatment, police said.

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Around 20,000 people took part in the “day of freedom” demonstration, the majority not wearing masks or respecting Germany’s 1.5-metre (five-foot) social distancing requirement.

The crowd, a mixture of hard left and right, and conspiracy theorists shouted “We are the second wave” as they converged on the Brandenburg Gate, demanding “resistance” and dubbing the pandemic “the biggest conspiracy theory”.

Police began dispersing the crowds in the late afternoon, but hundreds of protesters remained at the Brandenburg Gate late into the evening.

Police have launched legal proceedings against organisers for not respecting virus hygiene rules.

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In a separate anti-fascist demonstration in the southern Neukoelln district, protesters threw stones at police officers, let off fireworks and damaged two police vehicles and a local party office.

A protester displays a placard reading: “My life, my body, my decision” during a demonstration against restrictions imposed by the government to curb the spread of the new coronavirus on August 2, 2020 in front of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  John MACDOUGALL / AFP

Several officers were injured while dispersing the crowd, including three who were treated in hospital after being hit in the face by shards of glass.

Arrests were also made at smaller unofficial protests.

A total of 1,100 officers were deployed during the day.

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A few hundred protesters gathered to the west of the Brandenburg gate on Sunday, according to a reporter at the scene, with the majority wearing masks and observing social distancing guidelines.

Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over recent weeks and politicians took to social media to criticise Saturday’s rally as irresponsible.

Protesters take part in a demonstration against restrictions imposed by the government to curb the spread of the new coronavirus on August 2, 2020 in front of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate amid the Covid-19 pandemic. John MACDOUGALL / AFP

“Yes, demonstrations should also be possible in times of coronavirus, but not like this,” Health Minister Jens Spahn said.

“Distance, hygiene rules and masks serve to protect us all, so we treat each other with respect.”


#Newsworthy…

Zimbabwean novelist ‘arrested’ during protest

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Police in Zimbabwe on Friday arrested internationally-acclaimed novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga as they enforced a ban on protests coinciding with the anniversary of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s election.

Dangarembga, 61, was taken away in a police truck as she demonstrated in the upmarket Harare suburb of Borrowdale alongside another protester, a photographer saw.

Streets in the centre of the city were largely deserted as police and soldiers set up checkpoints to prevent entry.

Opposition politician Jacob Ngarivhume, head of a small party called Transform Zimbabwe, had called for demonstrations against alleged state corruption and the country’s slumping economy

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The protests were timed to coincide with the second anniversary of Mnangagwa’s election, which the opposition says was a fraud.

But most people stayed at home after police on Thursday issued a ban and warned of a tough response.

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa wears a protective face shield and facemask as he delivers a speech on July 31, 2020. Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP

“All security arms of government are on full alert and will deal decisively with any individuals or groups fomenting violence,” it warned.

There were more checkpoints and roadblocks than usual on roads leading to the centre of the capital, manned by police and soldiers.

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In the central business district, police carrying batons or riot shields were heavily deployed, a Media journalist (known to Noble Reporters Media) saw.

Novelist arrested
In the suburbs, only a handful of people appeared to brave the ban.

A photographer saw Dangarembga and a fellow protester, Julie Barnes, hauled into a truck full of police armed with AK-47 rifles and riot gear.

Shortly afterwards, she tweeted: “Arrested! At Borrowdale. Ope it will be OK”. She also tweeted a photo of herself and Barnes, sitting on the floor at a police station.

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She had been carrying placards calling for reforms and the release of Hopewell Chin’ono, a prominent journalist arrested last week under a government crackdown.

Minutes before her arrest, she told Media (known to Noble Reporters Media): “It seems that there has been a big reaction by the authorities to this protest.

Zimbabwean novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga (C) and a colleague Julie Barnes hold placards as they are arrested during an anti-corruption protest march along Borrowdale road, on July 31, 2020 in Harare. ZINYANGE AUNTONY / AFP

“They declared it illegal — I’m not quite sure (why), apart from the fact that they don’t want it…Our constitution gives Zimbabweans the right to demonstrate peacefully and that’s what we are doing.”

The Cambridge-educated author is the only Zimbabwean woman writer to win the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and has often been praised for speaking out on women’s issues.

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She leapt to prominence in 1988 with “Nervous Conditions”, a coming-of-age story about a girl’s battle to escape poverty and gain an education. The book became an instant classic.

Her arrest came days after her latest novel, “This Mournable Body,” entered the long list for the Booker Prize.

In a statement, police confirmed she had been arrested “for trying to incite the public to engage in illegal demonstrations while carrying placards written various political messages meant to cause public disorder.”

Among several others arrested Friday was Fadzayi Mahere, a lawyer and spokeswoman for the main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance.

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Mahere live-streamed via Facebook images of riot police scaling metal barriers into a suburban eatery where she had retreated after her protest, and arrested her.

The British ambassador in Harare, Melanie Robinson tweeted: “Very concerned about reports of abductions, arrests and threats targeting those exercising constitutional rights. Freedom of expression is vital even in times of COVID19, with social distancing observed”.

Zimbabwean novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga holds a placard during an anti-corruption protest march along Borrowdale road, on July 31, 2020 in Harare. ZINYANGE AUNTONY / AFP

Poverty and hunger
The government had denounced the protests, calling them an “insurrection”.

Ruling ZANU-PF spokesman Patrick Chinamasa earlier this week claimed that US ambassador Brian Nicholls was sponsoring the protests and called him “a thug”.

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Mnangagwa took over from longtime ruler Robert Mugabe after a coup in November 2017.

But hopes among many that he would end Mugabe’s disastrous economic slump have been dashed, and many Zimbabweans say they are worse off than before.

The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) says some 8.6 million Zimbabweans, or 60 percent of the population, will require food aid as a result of a drought, economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The country has recorded 3,092 virus cases including 53 deaths.


#Newsworthy…

DEVELOPING STORY: Protest to kick out Israeli PM, Netanyahu ‘rising’

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Israeli – “We won’t leave until Bibi leaves.” Israel’s struggle to contain the coronavirus has stirred deep-seated resentment towards Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and protests demanding his resignation are growing by the week.

As the Shabbat rest-day was ending on Saturday evening, thousands of demonstrators headed towards Netanyahu’s Jerusalem residence, the main site for protests that have taken place in multiple cities.

Some demonstrators branded Netanyahu — who has been indicted with bribery, fraud and breach of trust — as corrupt, while others condemned a lack of coherence in the government’s response to the pandemic.

For Tamir Gay-Tsabary, who travels each day to the Jerusalem protests with his wife Tami from southern Israel, coronavirus was “a trigger” that brought renewed focus to Netanyahu’s leadership faults.

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The pandemic made people “understand that he doesn’t care (about) Israel, he just cares for himself,” the 56-year-old sales manager told Media (known to Noble Reporters Media).

Netanyahu won praise for his initial response to the virus.

His government’s quick decisions in March to curb travel and impose a lockdown brought the daily case-count to a trickle by early May.

But an economic re-opening that began in late April has led to an explosion in transmission in the country of about 9 million people, with daily COVID-19 tallies ranging between 1,000 and 2,000 cases in recent weeks.

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Anti-government protests that initially included a few hundred people in Tel Aviv, now regularly count several thousand there and in Jerusalem.

A protester clad in mask due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic stands holding a sign reading in English “Bibi let my people go” during a demonstration against the Israeli government near the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem on July 25, 2020. Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP

Reflecting on the movement, Einav Schiff of the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper said it began in response to “a premature victory celebration for having defeated the coronavirus”.

That false victory “morphed into a healthcare and economic failure, which has left a severe crisis of confidence between the public and the government in its wake,” he said.

No ‘plan’
In response to rising cases, Netanyahu’s centre-right coalition has re-imposed economically painful restrictions, including targeting shops and markets.

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It has also approved additional relief measures, notably cash deposits to all citizens.

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu
Protester Amit Finkerstin said the government’s recent moves reveal it does not “have any plan,” making it impossible for people to prepare for the future.

The 27-year-old waitress, currently unemployed because of the pandemic, pointed to restaurant closures as evidence of the policy chaos.

On July 17, the government announced restaurants would mainly be limited to delivery and takeaway.

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Four days later, parliament overturned that decision. Then the government passed a law allowing it to bypass parliament on coronavirus restrictions, casting further uncertainty over the sector.

“One day yes one day no,” Finkerstin said. “People can’t earn any money.”

A protester holds up a sign reading in English “Bibi Netanyahu & Viktor Orban, same shit, the different name” during a demonstration against the Israeli government near the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem on July 25, 2020. Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP

The government’s plan to send at least 750 shekels ($220) to every citizen has been criticised by some economists as a knee-jerk response to mounting economic suffering in the place of smart, targeted aid.

Finkerstin accused the government of giving everyone cash “just to shut our mouth up.”

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‘Something is happening’
Netanyahu has taken responsibility for re-opening the economy too soon but said he was seeking a tricky balance between protecting livelihoods and limiting viral transmission, a challenge faced by many leaders.

He has also acknowledged the financial pain felt by many in a country where unemployment currently exceeds 20 per cent, compared to 3.4 per cent in February, when Israel recorded its first COVID-19 case.

But, in a series of tweets, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister has also sought to undermine the protests as a product of the “anarchist left” and accused the media of exaggerating their size.

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu

In a July 19 tweet that dismissed the protests as an “embarrassment and a disgrace,” Netanyahu highlighted the presence of a Palestinian flag at one rally, saying “the secret is out,” about the movement.

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Despite those dismissals, Schiff insisted that “something is happening” in the protest movement known as “black flag”.

“We can all hear, see and mainly feel it,” he wrote on Sunday.

“It isn’t clear yet whether this is a full-fledged earthquake or whether it is merely a tremor that will ultimately pass, but it’s everywhere.”

Israel’s last major protest movement — 2011 demonstrations over the rising cost of living — fizzled without large-scale impact.


#Newsworthy…

Insecurities: Resign, Buhari! – PDP protests

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Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari, accusing his administration of failing to tackle insecurity and attempting to sweep allegations of corruption under the carpet.

The National Chairman of the Party, Mr Uche Secondus, made the call at a news briefing in the nation’s capital Abuja on Friday.

At the briefing, titled Nigeria on a free fall as corruption, insecurity engulfs our nation,’ Mr Secondus said rising insecurity in the country across the country has exposed the poor leadership in the military and ruling class.

The main opposition party insists that the “honourable thing” for President Muhammadu Buhari (pictured) to do is to resign.

He said, “What we are witnessing in our country today is a total collapse of the nation, the country is on a ventilator gasping for air, under such circumstance. President Buhari should do the honourable thing required of an elder statesman in situations like this, throw in the towel and save the country from ruins.”

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Read the full statement by Mr Secondus below:

Being Address of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus at a media briefing on the state of the Nation at the PDP National Secretariat, Wadata, House, Abuja. On July 24, 2020.

“Nigeria in a free fall, as corruption, insecurity engulfs the Nation”

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Preamble.
Gentlemen of the press, I have had to call you again to discuss the frightening developments in our country.
As an opposition party, the PDP has screamed endlessly to high heavens but it’s becoming very clear to all that the ears we are targeting are deaf as nothing on ground shows that there is a government in this country.
No attempt is being made from any corner to stem the freighting tide in our land.
No effort is being made from any angle to halt the on-going free fall being witnessed in all fronts in the country. Nigerians have become helpless and have come to accept and live like citizens of nations without leader and with no direction.
Where do we start looking at the state of the nation when all segments of governance have collapsed.

Insecurity.
Nothing establishes the fact that there is no governance in the country more than the worsening state of insecurity. Having exhausted their propaganda of winning the war on terrorism only in their press releases, as reality endowed on all, both the military and political leaders are now helpless and confused.
What the Nigerian Senate did on Tuesday when it asked the service chiefs to resign was to show to the World that there is no executive arm of government in place.
Having few months back advised the executive to sack the service chiefs for having outlived their relevance and re-engineer the military for the emerging challenges, and having watched the security situation in the country grow from worse to worse, the legislators have limited option but to do what they did at least to show the people they represent that they are sensitive to their plights.
Not even during the three-year brutal civil war did we witness as much as over 300 soldiers absconding their duties and pouring abuses on their commander. Only poor leadership from the military and the polity can drag down morale of soldiers to such a pitiable level. The Presidency rising immediately to challenge the Senate shows also the level of confusion in the system.

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Corruption.
Since transparency International said few years ago that the worst corruption was going-on in Nigeria under this regime, the situation has continued to worsen.
It has now become a bazar with no pretense about it with all critical agencies of government including the anti-graft body themselves grossly engulfed in it.

The nation’s economy is walking to depression because we are least in recession and it’s being fast-tracked by the widening scope of corruption involving operatives at the high places.

The free for all corruption going on all over the place leaves us with the impression that the country is dying and there has been a scramble for what one can get out of it before the final demise.

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It’s very disheartening that as the looting and the re-looting of the nation’s resources are going on under the watch of the acclaimed anti-corruption President no serious reactions is coming from government that prides itself to be fighting corruption.

Rather than confront the already exposed corruption cases, the government deliberately takes cautious steps to play it down with a view to protecting their members who are neck-deep in the growing sleaze.

“After providence decided to expose the massive fraud going on in the nation’s anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in the last five years, rather than bring it to the fore, the Presidency in the great cover-up decided to take the investigation including the interrogation of suspects to Aso Rock Villa behind camera where all the exposed issues are kept away from the public glare.

We are aware that after the massive fraud exposition involving critical members of the administration, subtle moves are on behind the scene to free culprits and save the face of the government at the expense of the nation.

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This has been the case since this administration came in 2015 disguising as an anti-corruption regime while in reality looting the country dry.

“After their double speak on fuel subsidy and prizing, they have recorded the highest amount of subsidy in the petroleum sector while running the show in utmost secrecy with the President presiding as both the President and the Petroleum Minister.

As we speak, the big corruption cover-up is on-going in critical sectors, the Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, the Maritime Sector, the Customs, the Federal inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Nigeria Social Insurance a Trust Fund, NSITF, North East Development Commission, NNPC crude Oil sale to China, etc.

Nothing brings out the exact character of President Buhari’s administration to corruption than the on-going free for all fraud at the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, where the so-called forensic auditors sent in by the President to unearth a fraud are themselves becoming visible accomplice to the crime. The Senate has already indicted the Interim Management Committee, IMC, and the supervising Minister Senator Godswill Akpabio. A commission set up to helping the suffering people of Niger Delta has become a bank for APC members.

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Fraud at a glance.

100mb crude oil sales to China by Sahara energy as reported over 2.5b dollars

Over N1.3 trillion spent between 2015 and 2019 with N4.923b of NDDC spent outside the budget.

NSITF N3.4b fraud

The growing fresh fuel Subsidy fraud

Unaccounted for N100b for North East commission.

Not to talk of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs in the name of covid-19 palliatives

Fraudulent acquisition of banks, telecom companies amounting to billions of dollars by cabals in this administration.

Efcc blockage of N100b tax laundering petition involving a high profile person in APC

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Conclusions.

Gentlemen of the press, the state of our nation today requires that all hands must be on deck especially you media practitioners who should not relent in holding public officers accountable.

Nigerians should not be distracted by the drama playing out at the various fraud case hearings whether in Aso Villa with Ibrahim Magu or at the National Assembly with two Ministers Akpabio and Chris Ngige, entertaining Nigerians, they are designs to remove public attention to the real issue.
In this country under the watch of President Buhari and his APC, we have found ourselves in the environment as the French economist, Federico Bastiat said that “when plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it” .This regime has found a code for corruption and they now glorify it and make fun of it.

Finally, gentlemen of the press what we are witnessing in our country today is a total collapse of the nation, the country is on ventilator gasping for air, under such circumstance, President Buhari should do the honourable thing required of an elder statesman in situations like this, THROW IN THE TOWEL because Nigeria is on and save the country from ruins.
Thanks for your attention and God bless.


#Newsworthy…

Mali crisis: W/African leaders fails to reach agreement

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After Bamako visit by five regional presidents aimed at breaking deadlock, ECOWAS to hold virtual extraordinary summit.


Unprecedented mediation efforts by five West African presidents in Mali have ended without a deal on how to resolve the country’s deepening political crisis.

The leaders of Ghana, Ivory Coast, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal on Thursday headed to Bamako to meet Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and key figures of an opposition protest movement that has been demanding for weeks his resignation.

After the daylong talks aimed at breaking the deadlock, Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou said the West African regional bloc ECOWAS will have a virtual meeting on Monday to discuss a crisis that could further destabilise a country at the heart of the fight against armed groups in the Sahel.

“We have decided that we will report back to all the heads of state during an extraordinary meeting on Monday July 27,” Issoufou, who is also the current chair of ECOWAS, told reporters.

“ECOWAS will take strong measures that will contribute to the resolutions of the crisis.”

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Mobilised by influential Muslim leader Ibrahim Dicko under the umbrella of the June 5 Movement, a disparate alliance of political, social and civil society leaders, tens of thousands of people have in recent weeks poured onto the streets of Bamako to demand Keita’s resignation.

Although dissatisfaction over the country’s economic woes, corruption and worsening security situation has been simmering for a while, the trigger for the current crisis was a decision by the Constitutional Court in April to overturn the results of parliamentary polls for 31 seats, in a move that saw candidates with Keita’s party get re-elected.

The protests turned violent earlier this month when three days of clashes between security forces and protesters left 11 people dead. Several opposition leaders were also briefly detained.

An ECOWAS mission last week, led by Goodluck Jonathan, former Nigerian president, proposed setting up a government of national unity that would include members of the opposition and civil society groups. It also suggested, among others, the appointment of new judges to the Constitutional Court, which had already been “de facto” dissolved by Keita in a bid to calm unrest.

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But the proposals were rejected by the June 5 Movement, with protest leaders insisting that Keita must go and calling for accountability for the killings in the June 10-12 protests.

Late on Thursday, Dicko told journalists that no progress had been made in the talks and nothing had been offered that was acceptable to the protesters.

“Nothing has moved for the movement,” he said.

Regional leaders are eager to avoid further instability in Mali, a country of some 20 million people that has been plagued by a conflict that began in 2012 and has since spilled into neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

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According to the United Nations, attacks grew fivefold between 2016 and 2020, with 4,000 people killed in the three countries last year, up from about 770 in 2016. The fighting has also forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes and led to the closure of thousands of schools.

In central Mali, a multitude of armed groups have been jockeying for control while exploiting the poverty of marginalised communities and inflaming tensions between ethnic groups.

The presence of thousands of foreign troops has failed to stem the violence, while allegations of abuses and extrajudicial killings by Malian forces have perpetuated deep-rooted mistrust and enmity in parts of the country with little government presence otherwise.

“The [regional] security concerns are real,” Demba Moussa Dembele, president of the Dakar-based African Forum on Alternatives, told Media (known to Noble Reporters Media).

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“If the crisis lingers on, Mali is likely to descend into chaos, which will affect the morale of the military and weaken its fight against the terrorist groups. In that case, there is a risk that neighbouring countries, like Senegal and Guinea, will be affected, which in turn will affect other countries.”

But the Institute for Security Studies think-tank warned on Thursday that there was an “unfavourable prejudice” towards the regional leaders amid suspicions they were protecting their own narrow interests.

“The search for solutions will have to take into account the need to improve the daily lives of Malians,” the think-tank said.


#Newsworthy…

‘Scattered’ protest rocks Mali | Full Story

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Opposition spurns ECOWAS mission as list of reform proposals excludes President Keita’s resignation, a key demand.


Opponents of Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita have erected barricades in the capital Bamako, after international mediators have failed to resolve a weeks-long political crisis that has shaken the West African country.

Keita is locked in a standoff with an opposition alliance calling for his resignation. A mediation mission from the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) ended Sunday after failing to reconcile the two sides.

ECOWAS issued a list of reform proposals, but the opposition spurned the proposals as they did not address its main demand – that Keita resign.

The president and the opposition June 5 Movement (also known as M5) have for weeks been locked in a political standoff, which spiralled into violent clashes earlier this month, leaving 11 dead.

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But the uncertain conclusion of the mediation has left the path to exiting Mali’s impasse uncertain.

On Monday, a government official said the leaders of Ivory Coast, Ghana, Senegal and Niger were due to arrive in Bamako on Thursday for a summit as Mali’s political crisis deepens.

Opposition spurns ECOWAS mission as list of reform proposals excludes President Keita’s resignation, a key demand.

Meanwhile, in outlying suburbs of Bamako, some protesters erected barricades and burned tyres on Monday, Media reported.

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Reporting from Dakar in neighbouring Senegal, Noble Reporters Media understand that protesters have tried to block two main bridges that connect Bamako’s north and the south as well as roads in the historic town of Timbuktu located in the north.

“That’s following a call to action by the M5 … [for] a day where protesters are trying to turn the capital and cities into ghost towns by blocking major arteries and that’s because they reject the ECOWAS recommendations. It falls short of their demands,” Haque said.

Protesters are calling for Keita’s resignation as well as for the national assembly to be dissolved.

“They said that the parliamentary election that took place … is not a legitimate election, so they want a revote on that.

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“It seems that the ECOWAS is saying that dialogue will continue despite this mission that’s described by this M5 movement as a failure, that there will continue to be some sort of a discussion,” Haque said.

Bloodiest bout of political unrest
Keita has been in power since 2013. The June 5 Movement has been tapping into deep-seated frustrations about the 75-year-old president’s perceived failures in tackling the dire economy, corruption and the country’s eight-year-long conflict with armed fighters.

Many Malians are also incensed at the outcome of long-delayed parliamentary elections in March and April that handed victory to Keita’s party.

The opposition staged two anti-Keita protests last month and one on July 10, which turned violent after protesters stormed the premises of a state broadcaster, blocked bridges and attacked the parliament.

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Three days of clashes between protesters and security forces followed, leaving 11 dead and 158 injured, according to an official tally, in the bloodiest bout of political unrest in years.

ECOWAS mediators on Sunday suggested forming a new unity government and appointing new judges to Mali’s constitutional court, who could potentially re-examine disputed election results.

However, the June 5 Movement had earlier rejected any outcome that does not include Keita’s departure.

West African mediators said they would set up a technical committee to oversee their recommendations, suggesting that talks between the two parties may continue.


#Newsworthy…

Violent outbreak amid protest against Mali leader

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A mass protest in Mali against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita descended into violence on Friday as protesters blocked main thoroughfares, attacked the parliament and stormed the premises of a state broadcaster.

One person was killed during the protest in the capital Bamako, officials said. The protest, organised by a new opposition coalition, is the third such demonstration in two months – significantly escalating pressure on the embattled president. Thousands initially gathered in a central city square on Friday to demand that Keita resign over the country’s long-running jihadist conflict, economic woes and perceived government corruption.

Led by influential imam Mahmoud Dicko, the so-called June 5 movement is channelling deep-seated frustrations in the war-torn West African state. Keita this week unsuccessfully floated political reforms in a bid to appease opponents, but did not concede to demands from the political opposition to dissolve the parliament and form a transition government.

BARRICADES, BURNING TYRES

On Friday, many protesters carried placards bearing anti-government slogans and blowing vuvuzela horns.

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“We don’t want this regime any more,” said one of the demonstrators, Sy Kadiatou Sow. Protesters later erected barricades and set tyres alight on two of the main bridges across the river Niger that runs through Bamako, according to AFP journalists, and entered the courtyard of state broadcaster.

Media (known to Noble Reporters Media) were off air on Friday afternoon, a French agency journalist said. However the reason for suspension of channels could not be confirmed immediately. National guardsmen also fired tear gas at protesters hurling stones at the parliament building.

Mali has been struggling to contain an Islamist insurgency that first emerged in the north in 2012, before spreading to the centre of the country and to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger. Thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands of people have been forced from their homes.

‘CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE’

Opposition leaders on Friday also published a ten-point document calling for civil disobedience. Recommendations for actions included in the document included not paying fines, and blocking entry to state buildings — except hospitals — and occupying crossroads.

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Friday’s demonstration follows an attempt by Keita on Wednesday to appease growing opposition to his government by offering to appoint new judges to the constitutional court.

The court has been at the centre of controversy in Mali since April 29, when it overturned the provisional results for March’s parliamentary poll for about 30 seats. That move saw several members of Keita’s party elected to the parliament and triggered protests in several cities. It is also widely as having ignited the country’s latest political crisis.

Keita suggested in a televised speech on Wednesday that appointing new judges would mean that the constitutional court could revisit its earlier decision. But the speech fell on deaf ears among Mali’s opposition leaders, who had been demanding that the 75-year-old dissolve the parliament and form a transition government, however.

Issa Kaou Djim, a member of the political opposition, said that efforts at dialogue with Keita had failed. “Now, no one considers him the president. But everything we are going to do will be done within a democratic and republican framework,” he added.


#Newsworthy…

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Prosecute Ibrahim Magu – PDP protest

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says after reviewing the reported circumstances surrounding the investigation of the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, it is only right that he gets prosecuted accordingly.

The party said that Magu’s ‘indictment’ reinforces its position that the much-hyped war against corruption by the EFCC, under his watch, has been a huge scam by corrupt individuals to cover the plundering of public resources, harass political opponents, intimidate and extort money from innocent Nigerians.

According to the party’s observation, the revelations of diversion of recovered funds and fraudulent sale of assets seized by the EFCC among other sleazes, as detailed in the memo by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, as well as the report of the Department of State Services (DSS) on Magu’s activities, have further exposed the racket that the fight against corruption had become under the All Progressives Congress (APC) government.

File photo: Ibrahim Magu

“The development has also exposed why corruption has worsened under the Buhari administration, as documented by credible international organizations, including Transparency International (TI).

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“It is a big embarrassment to our nation, that the head of the anti-corruption agency in an administration led by the African Union (AU) anti-corruption champion and which prides itself on zero tolerance for corruption, is being dragged in allegation of looting recovered fund and other barefaced frauds.

“Now that the racket has been exposed, the onus lies on President Muhammadu Buhari to clean his Augean stable by not sweeping the matter under the carpet or seeking to provide a soft landing for the indicted EFCC boss and shield him from prosecution,” PDP’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, stated in a communique on Wednesday.

The PDP further argued that what Nigerians expect at this moment is for President Buhari to enforce the law by directing relevant agencies to commence actions that would lead to Magu’s prosecution in the court, adding that anything short of this will not be acceptable to Nigerians.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Protesters storm serbian parliament over lockdown

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Serbian president says Belgrade may be locked down because of the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country.


A group of opposition supporters stormed the Serbian parliament building in Belgrade on Tuesday night in a protest against a lockdown planned for the capital this weekend to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Tuesday evening that stricter measures including the lockdown of Belgrade over the weekend would be introduced because of the rising number of coronavirus infections.

After Vucic’s statement, several thousand people began gathering in front of the parliament in Belgrade’s central square. Around 10pm local time, a small group of protesters pushed past a police cordon, broke through a door and entered the parliament building. But police later pushed them back.

Serbia, a country of 7 million people, has reported 16,168 coronavirus infections and 330 deaths. But the numbers are spiking and 299 cases and 13 deaths were reported on Tuesday alone.


#Newsworthy…

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Insecurities: protesters full Sudan

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Hundreds of Sudanese held a protest Friday in the Central Darfur state calling on the government to secure their properties following recent incidents of killings and looting, witnesses said.

Last week, unidentified armed men killed three farmers near the town of Nertiti in Central Darfur, triggering the ire of residents who long complained of lack of security in the area.

“We have been here for four days and we will continue our protest until our demands are met,” protester Adam Haroun told AFP on Friday at a sit-in outside a government office in Nertiti.

Mohamed Eissa, another protester, slammed the inaction of security forces saying “they are not carrying out their role to protect the area from gangs”.

Later on Friday, Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said a government delegation from Khartoum will visit the region to address the demands of the protesters.

Sudanese demonstrators gesture as they chant during a protest on Sixty street in the east of the capital Khartoum, on June 30, 2020. ASHRAF SHAZLY / AFP

“The demands of our people in Nertiti in Central Darfur are fair and well deserved,” the premier wrote on Twitter.

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Darfur was the scene of a bitter conflict that broke out in 2003 between African minority rebels, complaining of marginalisation, and government forces under ousted president Omar al-Bashir.

The fighting killed 300,000 people and displaced 2.5 million others, according to the United Nations.

Bashir was ousted in April 2019 by the military following months of mass protests against his rule, triggered mainly by economic hardship.

He is wanted by The Hague-based International Criminal Court over charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur.


#Newsworthy…

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Breaking: Hong Kong marks handover anniversary | Details

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City’s riot police makes arrests as territory’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam says new legislation is ‘lawful, reasonable’.


Hong Kong marked the 23rd anniversary of the territory’s return to China on Wednesday hours after Beijing’s imposition of a new national security law, drawing international condemnation and thousands of defiant protesters.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam joined her predecessors and other officials at the harbour’s edge for a flag-raising ceremony and a reception for specially-invited guests, as the territory’s annual pro-democracy march was banned for the first time.

In her speech, Lam praised the new law as “the most important development” in the relationship between Beijing and Hong Kong since the 1997 handover, saying it is “necessary and timely” move to restore stability.

She defended the legislation, which came into force overnight after being rushed through China’s rubber-stamp parliament as “constitutional, lawful, sensible and reasonable”.

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In a press briefing following the ceremony, Zhang Xiaoming, the Executive Deputy Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, said suspects arrested under the law would be tried in the mainland, adding that Hong Kong’s legal system could not be expected to implement the laws of the mainland.

Spreading “rumours” and “directing hatred” towards Hong Kong police are among the transgressions that could be potentially prosecuted and punished under the new law, he said.

In a separate press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Lam also said that the law reflects Beijing’s desire to uphold one country, two system.

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Pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo, for her part, said that “free press could just be announced dead in Hong Kong.”

She added that journalists who publish sensitive information about Hong Kong could also be in “dire trouble”.

Dozens of people have been reported arrested after anti-national security law protesters marched through the streets of Hong Kong on Wednesday during the anniversary of the city’s handover to China from Britain [Tyrone Siu/Reuters]

Civic Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki, meanwhile, was quoted by the South China Morning Post, as saying, “Today is the end of one country, two system. From today it is one country, one system.”

Amid threats of possible arrest, protesters gathered near the conference centre where the ceremony was held, carrying banners and shouting their opposition to the new law, which seeks to punish crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with punishments including life in prison.

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Protest banned
Authorities barred civil society’s annual demonstration, citing a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people because of the coronavirus, but many activists have said they will defy the order and march later in the afternoon. The crowd of protesters later grew to several thousands across the city.

At about 0500 GMT, police officers were seen making arrests, including Democratic Party legislator Andrew Wan, who was seen being led by police in handcuff. Images on social media also showed police using pepper spray on Wan’s face. Ray Chan, another Hong Kong parlimentarian also reported being arrested alongside several other people.

At the city’s Causeway Bay area, one man wearing a “Free Hong Kong” shirt become the first person arrested by police for violating the new law. A search also yielded a “Hong Kong independence” flag, police said in a statement. According to reports, around 200 people were arrested but it was unclear what specific charges they face.

The annual rally is traditionally held to air grievances about everything from sky-high home prices to what many see as Beijing’s increasing encroachment on the city’s freedoms.

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“We march every year, every July 1, every October 1 and we will keep on marching,” said pro-democracy activist Leung Kwok-hung.

On July 1 last year, hundreds of protesters stormed the city’s legislature to protest against a now-scrapped bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, ransacking the building. The protests continued throughout the year with rally-goers demanding universal suffrage as promised in the territory’s Basic Law or mini-constitution.

Critics fear the legislation, which was only made public after it was passed, will outlaw dissent and destroy the autonomy promised when Hong Kong was returned from the United Kingdom to China in 1997.

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Reporting from Beijing, Noble Reporters Media gathered that the speed at which the new law was crafted and passed proved China’s “determination to stamp out” Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, which it sees “as too much of a threat” to the central government’s power

She said that China may have lost patience over the last year, as the protests continued.

The legislation radically restructures the relationship between Beijing and Hong Kong envisaged under the so-called “one country, two systems” framework, obliterating the legal firewall between the city’s independent judiciary and the mainland’s party-controlled courts.

It empowers China to set up a national security agency in the city, staffed by officials who are not bound by local laws when carrying out duties.

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Details of the law

  • Crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces punishable by up to life in prison.
  • Companies or groups that violate national security law will be fined and could have operations suspended.
  • Damaging certain transportation vehicles and equipment will be considered an act of ‘terrorism’.
  • Anyone convicted of violating security legislation will not be allowed to stand in any Hong Kong elections.
  • The activities of a new national security agency and its personnel in Hong Kong will not be under the jurisdiction of local government.
  • Authorities can surveil and wiretap persons suspected of endangering national security.
  • The law will apply to permanent and non-permanent residents of Hong Kong.
  • The law says the management of foreign NGOs and news agencies in Hong Kong will be strengthened.
  • It outlaws four types of national security crimes: subversion, secession, terrorism and colluding with foreign forces to endanger national security.
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The full text of the law gave three scenarios when China might take over a prosecution: complicated foreign interference cases, “very serious” cases and when national security faces “serious and realistic threats”.

“Both the national security agency and Hong Kong can request to pass the case to mainland China and the prosecution will be done by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and the trial will be in the Supreme Court,” the law stated.

“No matter whether violence has been used, or the threat of violence used, leaders or serious offenders will be sentenced for life imprisonment or a minimum of 10 years in jail,” it said.

“The Hong Kong government has no jurisdiction over the national security agency in Hong Kong and its staff when they are discharging duties provided in this law,” it added.

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The text also specified that those who destroy government facilities and utilities would be considered subversive. Damaging public transportation facilities and arson would constitute acts of “terrorism”. Any person taking part in secessionist activities, whether organising or participating, will violate the law regardless of whether violence is used.

The law also said certain national security cases could be held behind closed doors without juries in Hong Kong if they contained state secrets, although the verdict and eventual judgements would be made public.

The legislation has drawn international condemnation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accusing China of “paranoia” and saying the law “destroys the territory’s autonomy and one of China’s greatest achievements”.

The introduction of the law also demonstrated that China’s commitment to international treaties, such as the Sino-British Joint Declaration, were “empty words”, Pompeo added.

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Meanwhile, Taiwan opened an office on Wednesday to help people fleeing Hong Kong, with a senior minister saying the self-ruled island would continue to support people in the territory.

“This is an important milestone for the government to further support democracy and freedom in Hong Kong,” said Chen Ming-tong, the head of Taiwan’s China-policy making Mainland Affairs Council.

NRM reporting from Hong Kong, said that residents of the city probably felt that the new law was “a lot more far-reaching than they imagined, (and) many are “still trying to figure out how it will impact their lives.”

“Make no mistake. This is a law that will going to affect everyone in Hong Kong.”


#Newsworthy…

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Protest in Edo over allege dismissal of 200 workers

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No fewer than 200 ad-hoc workers of the Edo State COVID-19 Mobile Screening Task Force on Tuesday took to the streets of Benin City, the state capital, to protest their alleged dismissal and non-payment of their two months remuneration.

The protesters, comprising medical doctors and related experts who went round the state during the period of the lockdown to take random samples from residents of the state, blocked the gates to the State Hospital Management Board office, and also went to lodge their grievances with the State House of Assembly.

One of the data collectors, Mr Emmanuel Ojie, said they had worked for over two months with the attendant risks associated with the job without being appreciated.

According to him, “We are owed May and June. We only reported to our duty post today to discover that we have been relieved of the job without being paid. We have no fewer than 26 groups, consisting of eight persons per group.

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“The group consist of doctors, medical laboratory scientists and others.

“In the course of this job, we staked our lives. At least three of my colleagues in the same group went on isolation as a result of Covid-19.

“We have been working everyday in the last three months, including public holidays. They said they were going to pay us N90, 000 per month.

“Nobody has told us why we are being owed and we really do not care why we are relieved of the job, but we need our money because we worked for it.”

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Speaking in the same vein, another data collector, Patience Efe, said they had to embark on the protest because of the method of dispersal by the Incident Manager of the task force, Dr Andrew Obi.

“The development is annoying because Dr. Andrew Obi chose to disperse us through a social media platform. Things are not done that way because for over two months, we risked our lives without pay.

“We need to know where we stand. It is not easy to come out as front liners to risk our lives without being paid for it. That is why we had to embark on this peaceful protest,” Efe said.

Efforts to speak with the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, failed, as he did not pick up several calls on his phone.

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Also, when contacted, the State Covid-19 Incident Manager, Dr Andrew Obi, said he was in a meeting.

“I am in a meeting right now and will call back in two hours,” he said.

However, the Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, in a statement, said the taskforce was demobilised after the state exceeded its target to screen and test over 500,000 and 5,000 persons respectfully.

According to him, “The screening exercise was massive and crosscutting. The officials were inundated with lists of persons, who were said to have participated in the exercise.

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“So, we are carefully vetting the lists before making the final payment. The outstanding allowances would be paid before the end of the week.”

Osagie added that “The taskforce for the screening exercise was set up in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The government, upon the outbreak of the pandemic in the state, based its response on the data polled from an epidemiological study done in partnership with the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH).

“This led to the setting up of a taskforce to embark on a massive screening and testing of 500,000 and 5000 persons across the state.

“The target has been achieved and surpassed. This has led to the modification of our response to the pandemic. With this, the taskforce was demobilised across the screening centres at mobile posts, borders and several other locations.”


#Newsworthy…

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Breaking: U.S protest not about Black Lives but about RFID Microchip – Pastor Chris

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The President of Love World Incorporated, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, said on Sunday the protests and riots that trailed the murder of an African-American, George Floyd, in the United States last month were not about black lives.

Oyakhilome, who disclosed this in a televised sermon, said the protests were part of a grand scheme to get rid of the police and implant microchips into Americans and other citizens of the world with a view to controlling them.

He added that once the police had been taken off the streets, microchips would be implanted into citizens and gives the government the information, required to reduce crime.

The preacher had claimed in April that the COVID-19 pandemic and the movement restrictions directed by the Federal Government were part of a ploy to introduce 5G technology in the country.

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The US protests also known as American Spring began on May 26 as a response to the killing of Floyd, a 46-year-old man who died during an arrest, after a Minneapolis Police Department officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes as three other officers looked on.

Oyakhilome said: “There are many who don’t know what is going on in the United States with the riots. It’s not about the guy that died, it is not about black folks, and it is not about black lives matter. I will tell you what it is about. From protests to riots and then more people have died since then and the call for disbanding, abrogation, cancellation and defunding of the police.

“Why is that? (Do) you think it is limited to the United States? No, it is not. Why are they doing it? It is part of the game. It is simply because they want to come in with the alternative method for security. What is that alternative method? It is total control- RFID microchip. That is what it’s about.

“And so, you are going to find people getting rid of their police and you will see cities experimenting one after the other. The cities say no police, everyone must get the microchip. And with that, you are going to know everybody. They will know everyone and crime will be controlled and they have got the media to hype it and in spite of its failure, they will praise it like the best thing in the world. That is what it’s about.”


#Newsworthy…

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How ‘Black Lives Matter’ Protest could affect 2020 Elections

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As protesters marched through Brooklyn past curfew one night in early June, the young man holding the bullhorn at the front of the crowd kept repeating one date: June 23.

It wasn’t the date of George Floyd’s death. It was the date of the New York Democratic primary. “Nothing is going to change if we just protest,” explains Yahshiyah Vines, 19, who was leading the crowd. “All these people out here: use your emotions in the polls, use your emotions in the voting booth.”

The last few weeks have illustrated the power of the rising racial-justice movement in the wake of Floyd’s death. In less than a month, the protests have shifted public opinion on systemic racism, toppled high-profile executives and gathered momentum in their quest to defund police departments. The next few weeks and months will test whether the movement can translate its social and cultural might into political power.

The first test comes on June 23, when several young Black candidates who have aligned themselves with the Black Lives Matter movement are running in competitive Democratic primaries. Those races could in some ways be a preview of the presidential election in November, when presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden hopes to ride strong turnout among African Americans to victory. The protests could be a political bonanza for Democrats, political strategists say, galvanizing its most reliable voting bloc and boosting voter registration. But it’s not yet clear whether the party is poised to take advantage, especially at the national level.

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Already, the movement has fired up some voters. The progressive non-profit Rock The Vote registered 150,000 new voters in the first two weeks of June, the highest tally of any two-week period in the 2020 election cycle. And despite significant obstacles at the polls, Democrats in Georgia cast more than 1 million ballots in the state’s June 9 primary, breaking the record set in the 2008 contest between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. “People were in line for hours,” says Nse Ufot, executive director of the New Georgia Project, which registered hundreds of voters at Black Lives Matter protests ahead of the primary. “Can you imagine the strength, the resolve, the steely-eyed determination that folks are going to have when they go to the polls in November?”

The New Georgia Project is among a handful of organizations actively registering voters in person at protests around the country. But so far the effort to convert the energy of the movement into votes is spontaneous, localized and disjointed, much like the protests themselves. The most expansive national efforts are digital: The Collective PAC, aimed at building Black political power, has launched a new effort to collect cell phone data from protesters in order to serve them ads about registering to vote. Michael Bloomberg has given $2 million to the Collective PAC’s efforts to register 250,000 Black voters in key battleground states.

“It makes more sense to do it digitally, from a safety perspective,” says Quentin James, co-founder of Collective PAC. “We know who the unregistered African Americans are, we have their names, we have their address, we know the Black people who are purged, and we are targeting them specifically.” James says that in six days, more than 1,000 people have clicked on the ads the group has run through the geo-targeting effort.

National Democratic organizations, meanwhile, have been slow to capitalize on the movement’s energy. The DCCC and DSCC are not coordinating national efforts to register voters at protests, and the Biden campaign has not been actively registering demonstrators, according to spokespeople. Such an effort would be logistically difficult: many actions planned by local organizers are spontaneous and vaporous, operating outside the party structure, which makes it difficult to coordinate voter-registration efforts.

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Above all, the protests are both a gift and a challenge for Biden, who has supported the movement’s goals without embracing activists’ more controversial demands. “This movement has politicized young Black voters in particular,” says LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, which aims to register Black voters in overlooked areas. “They’re taking a much harder look at his record. And that doesn’t necessarily work in his favor.”

The former vice president, whose support among Black voters rescued his sinking campaign with a critical victory in South Carolina, has knelt with demonstrators, given a well-received speech about America’s long struggle against racial injustice and spoken at Floyd’s funeral. He has also touted his criminal justice reform plans, which include a $20 billion grant program to encourage states to move towards violence-prevention rather than incarceration, decriminalizing marijuana, ending cash bail, and using the power of the Justice Department to crack down on systemic misconduct in police departments. Since the protests, he has called for a ban on chokeholds and an end to qualified immunity as well as stopping the transfer of “weapons of war” to police departments. Yet he has rejected activists’ demands to “defund the police,” doubling down instead on his police reform plan that provides $300 million for community policing.

So far, the balancing act seems to be working: Trump’s attempts to paint him as a radical don’t appear to have stuck, while new polling has emerged suggesting that 58% of Americans oppose the call to “defund the police.” And Biden has maintained his solid lead in key battleground states. “What we say to young people is that we hear your concerns, we share your pain, we share your enthusiasm,” says Biden senior advisor Symone Sanders. “We have similar goals, we want change, we want police reform in this country, and I think we all agree that this moment has given us an opportunity to do just that.”

The next test of the Black Lives Matter movement’s political power comes June 23, when several states hold primaries featuring young black candidates. In New York’s 16th congressional district, which stretches from the Bronx up into lower Westchester, middle-school principal Jamaal Bowman is running to unseat 16-term Democratic incumbent Eliot Engel. In New York’s 17th district, Mondaire Jones is attempting to become the first openly gay Black member of Congress, competing in a crowded primary to replace a retiring Democrat. And in Kentucky, state Rep. Charles Booker is running against a well-funded opponent, Amy McGrath, for the Democratic nomination to take on Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

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All three candidates have explicitly aligned themselves with the movement. “We’ve centered racial and economic injustice from the very beginning of our campaign,” Bowman says of his bid to unseat Engel. “In terms of volunteers signing up to phone bank, people making contributions to the campaign, all that stuff has increased exponentially over the last several weeks.” It didn’t help that Engel, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs committee, has been a scarce presence in his district and recently was caught on a hot mic at a protest, saying that “if I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care.”

In May, Bowman was getting roughly 30 to 40 volunteer signups a day, according to data provided by the campaign. Floyd died on May 25. By June 4, the number of volunteers had doubled; by June 10, it had tripled. Bowman raised nearly $265,000 in three days in early June—almost a third what he’d raised in the entire previous year. After endorsements from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, even more money flowed into his campaign. A week into June, he’d surpassed a million dollars.

Jones, an attorney who worked in the Obama Administration, says he’s also seen a significant increase in donations from the wealthier, whiter parts of his Westchester district. “I think what people have to come to grips with is that if they want to see racial justice, then they have to support progressive candidates like myself,” he says.

As for Booker, his family knew Breonna Taylor, the Black woman who was shot and killed in March by cops executing a no-knock warrant. He’s become a fixture at the Kentucky marches demanding justice for her death. “Standing in the streets crying with people who are facing trauma, the same trauma I carry from cousins who have been murdered over the last four years, the Commonwealth has really taken note,” Booker says. “It has amounted to a big boost in fundraising, a big boost in support.”

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Before the protests began, Booker was raising roughly $100,000 a month. He’s raised roughly $2 million in the month of June, according to his campaign, enough to fund an ad accusing McGrath of skipping the protests. He says he’s working to mobilize historically disenfranchised black voters in Kentucky with a volunteer network of hundreds of people across the state who hadn’t been involved in politics before. Before Memorial Day, his campaign averaged about 300 phone bank shifts a week, his campaign says; now they have more than 100 a day. “We get ignored, we get taken for granted, and the only time people talk to us is when they want us to vote for them and then they disappear on us,” he says. “We’re helping redefine what it means to be involved in politics.”

Polling remains scarce in Democratic congressional and Senate primaries, so it’s hard to tell which of these candidates is likely to prevail on the 23rd. According to one Data for Progress poll, Bowman now leads Engel by 10 points, including a 46-point lead with Black voters (the poll had a margin of error of roughly 5 points). A Public Policy Polling survey has Jones leading by more than 10 points in a crowded primary. The Booker campaign points to internal polling that shows him catching up to McGrath. But the true electoral impact of the movement won’t become clear until the votes are counted.

As younger Black men, candidates like Booker, Bowman and Jones can speak personally about the scourge of systemic racism and police brutality. Biden is a different matter. While he has a strong connection with many Black voters, some Democrats worry his unwillingness to meet the movements’ demands could cost him enthusiasm and votes. A coalition of more than 50 progressive groups recently wrote Biden a letter urging him to adjust his positions on policing, demanding he revise his platform to “ensure that the federal government permanently ends and ceases any further appropriation of funding to local law enforcement in any form.”

“You cannot win the election without the enthusiastic support of Black voters, and how you act in this moment of crisis will play a big role in determining how Black voters—and all voters concerned with racial justice—respond to your candidacy,” the groups wrote. “A ‘return to normalcy’ will not suffice.”

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Veteran organizers say that while older Black voters are loyal Democrats who delivered Biden the nomination, the young activists flooding the streets are demanding more. “If Biden does not come correct, he’s going to take a hit,” says Brown of Black Voters Matter. “He needs Black folks and young folks. He cannot win without either.”

As Republican strategist Stuart Stevens points out, President Trump’s chances of winning spike if Democratic voters of color stay home. Stevens, who advised GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012, notes that Ronald Reagan got 55% of the white vote in 1980 and won, while John McCain got 55% of the white vote in 2008 and lost, largely because nonwhite voters turned up for Obama. In 2016, Hillary Clinton lost partly because of depressed Black turnout in big cities in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

“If Biden can get nonwhite turnout up to what it was in ‘12, ‘08, or ‘04, he wins if everything else stays the same,” Stevens says. “He doesn’t need to win one more white voter.”

Ultimately, many activists say they plan to vote for Biden even if he doesn’t meet all of their demands. “A lot of people might feel disenchanted, but I also think it will make a lot of people go out and vote, because what else is there to do?” says Dara Hyacinthe, a 25-year old freelancer in Brooklyn. “It’s a two-pronged attack, really: you protest, and then you vote.”


#Newsworthy…

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Wisconsin senator injured in Madison violent protest

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Crowds outside the Wisconsin State Capitol tore down two statues, attacked a state senator, threw a Molotov cocktail into a government building amid protests following the arrest of a Black man who shouted at restaurant customers through a megaphone while carrying a baseball bat.

Officers inside the Capitol used pepper spray to repel protesters who were trying to gain entry into the historic center of state government, Madison police said.

Gov. Tony Evers on Wednesday said he was prepared to activate the Wisconsin National Guard to protect state properties.

“What happened in Madison last night presented a stark contrast from the peaceful protests we have seen across our state in recent weeks, including significant damage to state property,” Evers said in a statement.

The violence started Tuesday after Madison police arrested a protester who came to a restaurant across the street from the Capitol with a bat on his shoulder. Video released by Madison police shows the man, Devenore Johnson, talking through a megaphone while walking around the restaurant’s outdoor patio. He walks inside and paces through the restaurant with the bat on his shoulder, saying he’s “disturbing” the restaurant and talking about God and the police before walking out.

On another video released by police, as many as five officers can be seen taking Johnson to the sidewalk and carrying him to a police squad car after he resisted arrest. Police said the man briefly escaped from the squad car before being tackled.

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Johnson was charged in 2015 with being a passenger in a stolen car, resisting an officer and theft, according to online court records. He pleaded guilty to being a passenger and was sentenced to probation. The following year he was charged with being a party to armed robbery and theft. Under a plea deal, he was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to theft.

Police said on Tuesday night a group of 200 to 300 people gathered and entered a private condominium building where they surrounded a tow truck, forcing the driver to abandon it. The crowd broke windows in multiple buildings, threw a Molotov cocktail into the city-county building and brought down the statues on the grounds of the Capitol.

Protesters chanting for Johnson’s release also broke glass at the Tommy Thompson Center, named for the former Republican governor, and smashed windows and lights at the Capitol. Early Wednesday, police in riot gear worked to clear a crowd of about 100 people that remained in the area.

One of the statues toppled, decapitated and dragged into a lake about a half-mile away was of Civil War Col. Hans Christian Heg. He was an anti-slavery activist and leader of an anti-slave catcher militia in Wisconsin who fought for the Union and died from injuries suffered during the Battle of Chickamauga.

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The base of the Heg statue was defaced with graffiti Wednesday morning that read “Fire Matt Kenny,” a reference to a white Madison police officer who shot and killed 19-year-old Tony Robinson, a Black man, in 2015. Kenny said Robinson had attacked him and he feared he would take his gun. Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne, who is Black, cleared Kenny of any criminal wrongdoing and he remains a Madison officer.

That death sparked protests in 2015 and simmering anger among Black activists that Kenny remains on the police force. A banner calling for justice for Robinson has been hanging over a Madison overpass for the last several days.

Madison has a long history of protests and clashes with police, dating to student-led demonstrations on the University of Wisconsin campus in the 1960s. About 100,000 people protested in 2011 over anger related to anti-union proposals from then-Gov. Scott Walker. Smaller protests are almost a weekly, and sometimes daily, fixture at the Capitol on a host of issues.

The vast majority of protests over the years have been peaceful, until now.

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The other statue taken down represents Wisconsin’s motto of “Forward.” The statue had been vandalized in past protests with paint thrown on it and graffiti spray-painted on and around it.

“Forward” was first installed 125 years ago but replaced with a bronze replica in 1998. It sat prominently outside the Capitol, facing the University of Wisconsin campus and the street lined with bars, restaurants and small businesses. That corridor has been the target of much of the vandalism since the death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis after a white police officer used his knee to pin the handcuffed Black man’s neck, even after Floyd stopped moving.

The destruction followed similar unrest nationwide following Floyd’s death, but in other cities statues of Confederate soldiers and other symbols of slavery were destroyed.

Democratic state Sen. Tim Carpenter was assaulted after taking a cellphone video of protesters. Carpenter posted video he was recording before being assaulted.

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“Punched/kicked in the head, neck, ribs,” Carpenter tweeted around 4 a.m. “Maybe concussion, socked in left eye is little blurry, sore neck & ribs. 8-10 people attacked me. Innocent people are going to get killed. Capitol locked- stuck in office.Stop violence nowPlz!”

The violence drew bipartisan outrage from Wisconsin politicians.

“I am saddened at the cowardice of Madison officials to deal with these thugs,” Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos tweeted as the statues were being torn down.

Evers said Wednesday that no violence will be tolerated and those responsible for what happened will be held accountable.


#Newsworthy…

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Anti-Racism: Police clashes with French Protesters

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Police clashed with demonstrators in Paris and Lyon Saturday, firing tear gas and water cannons as thousands turned out across France for the latest wave of protests against racism and police violence.

Officers prevented protesters trying to launch a march through the streets of the capital, at the end of a three-hour rally. They fired tear gas after some demonstrators pelted them with projectiles.

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This was the latest in a series of French demonstrations following the death last month of black American George Floyd at the hands of police officers in the United States.

But the protesters were also highlighting what critics say is the problem of racism and violence in the French police.

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Several thousand people congregated at the Place de la Republique in Paris, answering a call from a pressure group seeking justice in the case of Adama Traore, a young black man who died in police custody in 2016.

Traore’s sister Assa Traore called on those attending the rally to “denounce the denial of justice, denounce social, racial, police violence”, renewing a call for an investigation into her brother’s death.

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“The death of George Floyd — this African-American killed on May 25 in Minneapolis by a white policeman — is a direct echo of my brother’s death. It’s the same thing in France, our brothers are dying,” she said.

Clashes in Lyon
One demonstrator, 19-year-old Djibril Sacko expressed his frustration.

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“I came to demonstrate for justice (and) we have been gassed several times then they surrounded us and things got out of hand given we couldn’t leave,” he said.

One demonstrator, 27-year-old student Elisa, said she did not routinely favour an “anti-cop discourse” but added it was “clear there is a problem of racism and fear of the police today”.

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In the southeast city of Lyon, police used water cannons and tear gas at the end of a demonstration attended by about 2,000 people.

In the Mediterranean city of Marseille, police said 2,200 people demonstrated. Organisers of the rally put the figure at between 4,000-5,000.

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Other rallies took place in cities from Montpellier in the south to Nantes and Bordeaux in the west.

Amnesty appeal
The rallies came at the end of week when France’s police watchdog said it had received almost 1,500 complaints against officers last year — half of them for alleged violence.

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French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday noted the need not to “lose the youth”, as feelings run ever higher in the wake of the Floyd killing.

On Wednesday he described racism as “an illness which touches all society”.

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Interior Minister Christophe Castaner has promised “zero tolerance” of racism in law enforcement, saying it is clear some officers “have failed in their Republican duty”.

He cited several instances of racist and discriminatory remarks that have recently come to light.

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Amnesty International meanwhile appealed for “a systemic reform of police practices” in France. “The seriousness of the situation requires a global response from the authorities,” the group said in a statement.

Government spokesman Sibeth Ndiaye suggested in an interview with Saturday’s Le Monde that there should be “constructive debate” regarding race, with efforts redoubled against racial discriminations”.

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Saturday’s demonstrations followed two days of protests by police officers themselves, angry at the accusations being laid against them, and what they say is a lack of government support.

Frederic Lagache of the police union Alliance said he hoped Macron would receive a delegation, as many officers felt their “honour had been injured” over the widespread criticism of the force.


#Newsworthy…

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Anti-racism and Far-fight protest full London.

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Anti-racism protesters and far-right activists have rallied in London in rival demonstrations, despite strict police restrictions and warnings to stay home to contain the coronavirus.

Demonstrations have been taking place around the world and in parts of the United Kingdom over the death of African American George Floyd in Minneapolis last monht after a white policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

In the UK, a debate is raging over monuments to those involved in its imperialist past, especially after the statue of slave trader Edward Colston was torn down and thrown into the harbour of Bristol port last weekend. In London, a statue of Winston Churchill was daubed with the words “was a racist”.

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In and around Parliament Square on Saturday afternoon, hundreds of people wearing football shirts, chanting “England, England”, and describing themselves as patriots, gathered alongside military veterans to guard the Cenotaph war memorial.

“Winston Churchill, he’s one of our own,” they chanted, near his statue.

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A few kilometres away, anti-racism protesters gathered at Hyde Park, holding Black Lives Matter placards, even though organisers had told them not to attend, fearing clashes.

Police separated two groups of about 100 people each in Trafalgar Square, one chanting “Black Lives Matter”, and the other racial slurs. Some groups jostled, tossed bottles and cans and set off fireworks, as riot police lined up.

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‘Fluid situation’
Reporting from central London, NRM said the situation was still fluid for protesters and the police.

“Clashes erupted between the police and the right-wing protesters who have come out as advertised to protect the national monuments in Parliament Square, in the words of the leader of the group Britain First, one of the organisers,” he said.

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“In Trafalgar Square in central London, a group of rival Black Lives Matter protesters are being protected by the police,” Hull added.

Hundreds of people also attended rallies in northern English cities like Liverpool and Newcastle, with many protesters donning masks due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Police said on Saturday that some people were bringing weapons to the London rallies. They imposed route restrictions on both groups and said rallies must end by 5pm (16:00 GMT) in a bid to avoid violent clashes.

“Anyone who thinks they can commit a crime or vandalise property will be arrested,” Commander Bas Javid said in a statement.


#Newsworthy…

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George Floyd – The Man Who Sparked A ‘Movement’

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As George Floyd is laid to rest in Houston, family members and friends remember the man who spawned a movement.

According to those who knew him, he was a man who drew people in with his kindness, in the Third Ward of Houston where he grew and everywhere else he went.

Floyd was remembered by family members as a man everyone wanted to be around. Philonise Floyd, George’s brother, said he was like “a general” that everyone wanted to follow.

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Growing up in a single-parent household, Floyd was remembered as a loving, supportive and guiding presence by his siblings at a memorial in Minneapolislast week.

“He was like a big brother,” Terai Lawson, who grew up in Houston, told National Public Radio in an interview that aired on Tuesday morning.

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Terai is the younger brother of Ortierre Lawson, Floyd’s friend and former football team mate.

Terai said Floyd took an interested in his sports life. “I always mysteriously see him in the stands, watching me play basketball all the way through high school,” Terai said.

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An avid sportsman
Ortierre, who played football with Floyd at Yates High School, remembered him as a man who carried the team through challenging times with his good nature and support.

At practices in the blistering Houston heat, their football coach would not allow water breaks, Ortierre said. To help his team get through the tough practices: “Someone like Floyd would bust out singing,” Ortierre remembered in conversation with NPR.

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“When he would start singing and the whole team would start singing.”

Floyd helped the football team make the state championships during his time at Yates High School. State championships are a monumental accomplishment in Texas, where football is often considered a second religion for residents.

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Floyd was an avid sportsman. He was 6’4″ (194cm) and loved basketball. He was a huge fan of LeBron James, star player for the Los Angeles Lakers who made his mark on basketball with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“He was the biggest LeBron James fan,” Floyd’s nephew Brandon Williams recalled at his eulogy service in Minneapolis. When James won the championship with the Cavaliers against the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA finals, Floyd was elated.

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“When the [Cavaliers] came back on the Golden State Warriors in the Finals, and I remember the very first phone call. I told him, ‘You’re too happy. You sound like you won a championship.’ “

Floyd responded: “Man, you know how I feel about LeBron. I did win a championship”.

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Outpouring of support
James commented on Instagram about Floyd’s killing by former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin on May 26, juxtaposing the image of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck with that of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick protested against police brutality and racial injustice by taking a knee during the US National Anthem at football games starting in the 2016 season.

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Kaepernick received support from many but was also criticised by the NFL and others, even Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for his protest.

James captioned his post with “Do you understand NOW”?

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James also posted a photo of himself wearing a shirt emblazoned with the words “I can’t breathe”, which were the last words of both Eric Garner, killed in New York in 2014, and Floyd.

Michael Jordan, another legendary basketball player, said his “heart goes out” to the Floyd family in a May 31 statement.

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A life cut short
After graduating from Yates in 1993, Floyd wen tot South Florida Community College where he played basketball for two years. He then transferred to Texas A&M University in Kingsville, where played basketball until he dropped out.

Floyd was also a musician, rapping with a group called the Screwed Up Click in Houston’s hip-hop scene in the 1990s.

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Floyd went to prison in 2009 after armed robbery and home invasion charges were brought against him.

He was paroled in 2013 and returned to Houston, where residents say he supported and upheld the community as a leader and mentor.

Floyd moved to Minneapolis in 2014 to look for employment. He worked as a truck driver and bouncer there, until he lost his job due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, shortly before his death.

Floyd was 46 when he died. He is survived by five children.

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Chauvin, the officer who held Floyd down, had his third-degree murder charge upgraded to second-degree murder and also faces a second-degree manslaughter charge.

The three other officers present when Floyd was killed face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter. All four have been fired from the Minneapolis police force.

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Floyd’s death sparked a movement that is drawing calls to defund the police, but according to DJD, another Lawson brother and friend of Floyd who spoke to NPR, he cannot help but remember his “brother”.

“To see one of your best friends on TV all day long … it’s just another person to everybody and a movement to everyone else. But it’s a friend to me. I don’t see George Floyd. I see Big Floyd.”


#Newsworthy…

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George Floyd’s Death: Minneapolis activists call for change.

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The death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer felt like a “tipping point,” Minneapolis community organizer Marjaan Sirdar tells NRM.

Sirdar has lived in South Minneapolis for over a decade, and long worked as an organizer and activist among the city’s black communities. He has been involved in many outreach efforts against racial inequality and police brutality in the city.

“This hit harder, this hit different. The leaders of this city have ignored us,” Sirdar tells NRM. “This is a town that lacks [the] political will to provide security for black and brown people.”

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On May 25, Floyd, 46, was killed during an arrest over an alleged forgery at a Southside grocery store after an officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck despite Floyd’s pleas for assistance, and repeated exhortations that he could not breathe. An additional video seemingly of the arrest has shown two other officers also kneeling on Floyd’s body.

This killing, which was filmed by onlookers and circulated online, has led to widespread outrage, and protests through the city and the country.

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“This has been brewing for years,” Owen Duckworth, a community organizer with Minneapolis racial justice and equality advocacy group The Alliance, says. “A lot of black folks are scared. The moment is raw for a lot of people and that’s when you see the uprisings that have happened.”

A first protest was led by the Racial Justice Group, a grassroots organization in Minneapolis, on May 26, the day after Floyd’s death. Though this protest was peaceful, ensuing rallies have grown more violent — on Thursday night, demonstrators broke into a police precinct in and set it on fire.

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Other protests across the country have broken out in states including New York, California, Tennessee and Colorado.

But Miski Noor, an activist and member of the Black Vision Collective, a social justice organization in Minnesota, says that a “narrative of rioting and looting” doesn’t address systemic issues apparent within the Minneapolis police department (MPD) or protesters’ grievances thereof.

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“What needs to happen is that the police need to acknowledge the harm they’ve done to the community,” Noor says. “These protests are the community grieving,” Noor continues, adding that they have now “taken a life of their own.”

Sirdar, who joined Racial Justice Group’s rally on Tuesday but has not attended protests since, also believes that the ensuing protests are not the result of an organized plan.

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“Those are rogue protests, they’re not planned [rallies],” Sirdar says. “[But] when our DA refuses to prosecute killer police and our city council refuses to hold the mayor accountable, they give people no choice.”

Community organizers have been supplying protesters with water, protective equipment as well as milk — to bathe the eyes of people hit by tear gas, which has been deployed by police on multiple occasions across the last few days. They have set up a small area for peaceful prayer, and have also organized groups to undertake clean-up projects in impacted areas during the day.

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William D. Green, a history professor at Augsburg University in Minnesota, says that Minneapolis has long failed its citizens of color and those in poverty, citing a longstanding history of racial inequality.

“What I saw on film conveyed that problems within the [police] department had not been addressed. It was all too familiar,” Professor Green says. “This is about the city and the state’s responsibility to its citizens of color and poverty.”

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According to a 2019 report by the Minnesota NAACP, the unemployment rate for black people in the city’s metropolitan areas is more than twice the rate for white people. Black residents across the city bring in half the income white residents; just a quarter of black people own their homes in the city, compared to 76 percent of white people.

Activists believe this inequality has become manifested in the MPD and its relationship with the communities it serves. This in turn has led to police brutality and the deaths of black people at the hands of MPD officers.

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And Sirdar says the situation is no longer just about the police.

“What that cop did to George Floyd was not an anomaly,” Sirdar says. “A lot of people are looking at the angle of policing, [but] it’s beyond a policing issue … Police brutality is a problem, but the biggest problem is racism.”

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During a press conference on Thursday, Minneapolis City Council vice president Andrea Jenkins called for a state of emergency in the city, “declaring racism as a public health issue.”

In 2015 Jamar Clark, a 24-year-old unarmed black man was shot and killed by police after an altercation in Minneapolis. In 2016, Philando Castile was shot and killed in his car, with his girlfriend and daughter in the backseat, after being pulled over by an officer just five miles north of the city. Derek Chauvin, the MPD officer charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd’s death, is reportedly being represented by the same lawyer who defended Jeronimo Yanez, who shot Castile.

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Castile’s death also led to protests across Minnesota and the country.

In light of this pattern of police behavior, Sirdar says the MPD cannot be expected to provide the public safety and trust that Minneapolis residents require. “What I’m pushing for is the dismantling of the police department,” Sirdar tells NRM.

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Miski Noor concurs, arguing that the Minneapolis police department needs to be defunded, with resources instead of being allocated towards community-led solutions.

“We can no longer increase the police budget,” Noor says. “We have to do things that actually take care of human beings.”


#Newsworthy…

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Storyline: Protest full Katsina. | Details.

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Residents of Yan Tumaki town in Danmusa Local Government Area of Katsina State have taken to the streets to protest against insecurity, particularly kidnapping in their area.

The protest is coming hours after kidnappers visited the town and abducted a man identified as Alhaji Mansir Yusuf along with his daughter in the early hours of Tuesday.

A resident of the town told NRM that they were protesting what they described as the renewed and worsened insecurity in the area despite the presence of security operatives.

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The protesters were seen burning tires and barricading the road linking Kankara and Katsina Local Government Areas.

On Sunday last week, 55-year-old chairman of the All Progressives Congress in Batsari Local Government Area, Abdulhamid Mamman Sani was killed by bandits in an attempt to kidnap him.


#Newsworthy…

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George Floyd’s Death: Minneapolis city council support Police Dept ‘Dismantle’

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A majority of the members of the Minneapolis City Council said Sunday they support disbanding the city’s police department, an aggressive stance that comes just as the state has launched a civil rights investigation after George Floyd’s death.

Nine of the council’s 12 members appeared with activists at a rally in a city park Sunday afternoon and vowed to end policing as the city currently knows it. Council member Jeremiah Ellison promised that the council would “dismantle” the department.

“It is clear that our system of policing is not keeping our communities safe,” Lisa Bender, the council president, said. “Our efforts at incremental reform have failed, period.”

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Bender went on to say she and the eight other council members that joined the rally are committed to ending the city’s relationship with the police force and “to end policing as we know it and recreate systems that actually keep us safe.”

Floyd, a handcuffed black man, died May 25 after a white officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck, ignoring his “I can’t breathe” cries and holding it there even after Floyd stopped moving. His death sparked protests — some violent, many peaceful — that spread nationwide.

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Community activists have criticized the Minneapolis department for years for what they say is a racist and brutal culture that resists change. The state of Minnesota launched a civil rights investigation of the department last week, and the first concrete changes came Friday in a stipulated agreement in which the city agreed to ban chokeholds and neck restraints.

A more complete remaking of the department is likely to unfold in coming months.

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Disbanding an entire department has happened before. In 2012, with crime rampant in Camden, New Jersey, the city disbanded its police department and replaced it with a new force that covered Camden County. Compton, California, took the same step in 2000, shifting its policing to Los Angeles County.

It was a step that then-Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department was considering for Ferguson, Missouri, after the death of Michael Brown. The city eventually reached an agreement short of that but one that required massive reforms overseen by a court-appointed mediator.

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The move to defund or abolish the Minneapolis department is far from assured, with the civil rights investigation likely to unfold over the next several months.

On Saturday, activists for defunding the department staged a protest outside Mayor Jacob Frey’s home. Frey came out to talk with them.

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“I have been coming to grips with my own responsibility, my own failure in this,” Frey said. When pressed on whether he supported their demands, Frey said: “I do not support the full abolition of the police department.”

He left to booing.

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At another march Saturday during which leaders called for defunding the department, Verbena Dempster said she supported the idea.

“I think, honestly, we’re too far past” the chance for reform, Dempster told Minnesota Public Radio. “We just have to take down the whole system.”


#Newsworthy…

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