CURFEWS are now in place in cities right across the USA after President Trump sent in the National Guard to try and drive back the masses. They are refusing to leave the streets until the police officers responsible for choking George Floyd to death in the city of Minneapolis have been indicted and sentenced for murder.
The curfews are being defied in city after city, while riot police supported by units of the National Guard have fired on protesters using tear gas and rubber bullets.
Shocked by the mass actions, President Donald Trump is now urging ‘healing’ over the murder of George Floyd after stating: ‘Looters would be met with shooters.’
White policeman Derek Chauvin is charged with murdering Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis and is due to appear in court today.
In Los Angeles, California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in the city and activated the National Guard. The entire city is under a 20:00 to 05:30 curfew. Mayor Eric Garcetti said this was ‘the heaviest moment I’ve experienced since the riots in 1992’ that were sparked by the acquittal of police over the beating of Rodney King.
In New York, some 20 police cars were burned and dozens of arrests made. Video also showed a police car driving into a crowd of protesters. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot imposed a 21:00 to 06:00 curfew until further notice, saying she was ‘disgusted’ by the violence.
Now on a daily basis large crowds of protesters are taunting National Guard officers outside the White House in Washington, DC.
However, demonstrators are already celebrating a victory. This took place in Flint, Michigan, where sheriff Chris Swanson took off the riot helmets of his men, laid down batons and asked protesters what they wanted. After hugs and high fives, they chanted ‘walk with us’ and the sheriff did.
Trump was at bay yesterday as he launched a private American space programme to make billions of dollars more for the super-rich. He pledged to the super-rich – ‘I will not allow angry mobs to dominate – it won’t happen.’
However, the growing army of demonstrators are becoming more and more determined to see the Trump regime brought down. One demonstrator said: ‘Going Home would send the wrong message that they can shut us up when they want to, and that’s not the case here.’
The brother of George Floyd revealed he was not given ‘the opportunity to even speak’ when President Donald Trump called the Floyd family on Friday. ‘It was so fast. He didn’t give me the opportunity to even speak. It was hard,’ Philonise Floyd told MSNBC.
‘I was trying to talk to him but he just kept like pushing me off like “I don’t want to hear what you’re talking about,” he said. And I just told him I want justice, I said I can’t believe they committed a modern day lynching in broad daylight. I can’t stand it,’ Philonise Floyd added. ‘I just want to understand, why do we have to go through this?’
Meanwhile, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms commented: ‘If you were out protesting last night, you probably need to go get a Covid test this week,’ adding that ‘there is still a pandemic in America that’s killing Black and Brown people at higher numbers’.
However, the masses of US workers and youth who have been driven to the streets by the last straw of the police murder have now decided that their situation has become so desperate that they are willing to brave the coronavirus and the guns and gas of the police and the National Guard to bring down Trump.
The reason for this is that they have experienced the real nature of the crisis of capitalism. Trump’s economic miracle and his drive to make the US ruling class great again has produced an economic catastrophe of 40 million unemployed in a month, and sentenced the 40 million and their families to destitution.
At the same time, Trump has insisted that the richest capitalist country on the globe should not let the struggle against coronavirus interfere with the bosses profits. This has led to the richest country in the world with the most advanced science having 1,770, 210 cases of the virus in the big US cities and 103,776 dead. In the richest and most advanced capitalist country on the planet, workers lives are expendable, profit is the god to be worshipped.
The US trade unions must not stand by and watch this struggle. They must support it and call a general strike to bring down the Trump regime and go forward to a workers’ government and socialism. This is the only way forward for the US working class! There is not a moment to lose!