#BLM: A Dive Into The Movement Shaking America — What Ten Days Of Sustained Protests Have Accomplished
What Triggered BLM?
The anti-racism protests spread like wildfire nationwide, after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man arrested for trying to use a counterfeit 20-dollar bill. Floyd’s death was like a fresh cut to an already festering wound, increasing the ire against unfair black killings at the hands of white supremacists, with recent cases including Brianna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.
Racism has been a constant theme in the United States of America for over a hundred years, when white Americans were given legally or socially sanctioned privileges and rights while these same rights were denied to other races and minorities.
What Have The Sustained Protests Wrought On The American System?
- Within 10 days:
- Minneapolis outlaws the use of choke holds as a restraining technique.
- Charges have been upgraded against former officer Chauvin, and his accomplices are arrested and charged.
- Dallas has adopted a “duty to intervene” rule that requires officers to stop other cops who are engaging in inappropriate use of force.
- New Jersey’s attorney general said the state will update its use-of-force guidelines for the first time in two decades.
- In Maryland, a bipartisan work group of state lawmakers announced a police reform work group.
- Los Angeles City Council introduces motion to reduce the LAPD’s $1.8 billion operating budget.
- MBTA in Boston agrees to stop using public buses to transport police officers to protests.
- Police brutality captured on cameras leads to near-immediate suspensions and firings of officers in several cities; i.e., Buffalo, Ft. Lauderdale, Louisville).
- Monuments celebrating confederates are being removed and defaced in cities in Virginia, Alabama, and other states.
- A major street in front of the White House has been renamed “Black Lives Matter Plaza.”
- Military forces begin to withdraw from D.C.
- Last week, Minneapolis officials confirmed they were considering a fairly rare course of action: disbanding the city’s police department. However, Minneapolis city council members haven’t specified what will replace it if the department disbands.
- Increased awareness against racism, with Caucasians and other non African descent individuals protesting heavily against racism.
On The Global Scene:
- Protests against racial inequality sparked by the police killing of George Floyd are taking place all over the world.
- Rallies and memorials have been held in cities across Europe, as well as in Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand.
- As the US contends with its second week of protests, issues of racism, police brutality, and oppression have been brought to light across the globe.
- People all over the world understand that their own fights for human rights, for equality and fairness, will become so much more difficult to win if we are going to lose America as the place where “I have a dream” is a real and universal political program,” Wolfgang Ischinger, a former German ambassador to the US, told the New Yorker.
- In France, protesters marched holding signs that said “I can’t breathe” to signify both the words of Floyd, and the last words of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black man who was subdued by police officers and gasped the sentence before he died outside Paris in 2016.
Cities across Europe have come together after the death of George Floyd:
- In Amsterdam, an estimated 10,000 people filled the Dam square on Monday, holding signs and shouting popular chants like “Black lives matter,” and “No justice, No peace.”
- In Germany, people gathered in multiple locations throughout Berlin to demand justice for Floyd and fight against police brutality.
- A mural dedicated to Floyd was also spray-painted on a stretch of wall in Berlin that once divided the German capital during the Cold War.
- In Ireland, protesters held a peaceful demonstration outside of Belfast City Hall, and others gathered outside of the US embassy in Dublin.
- In Italy, protesters gathered and marched with signs that said “Stop killing black people,” “Say his name,” and “We will not be silent.”
- In Spain, people gathered to march and hold up signs throughout Barcelona and Madrid.
- In Athens, Greece, protesters took to the streets to collectively hold up a sign that read “I can’t breathe.”
- In Brussels, protesters were seen sitting in a peaceful demonstration in front of an opera house in the center of the city.
- In Denmark, protesters went chanting “No justice, No peace!” throughout the streets of Copenhagen, as others gathered outside the US embassy.
- In Canada, protesters were also grieving for Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a 29-year-old black woman who died on Wednesday after falling from her balcony during a police investigation at her building.
- And in New Zealand, roughly 2,000 people marched to the US embassy in Auckland, chanting and carrying signs demanding justice.
- Memorials have been built for Floyd around the world, too. In Mexico City, portraits of him were hung outside the US embassy with roses, candles, and signs.
- In Poland, candles and flowers were laid out next to photos of Floyd outside the US consulate.
- In Syria, two artists created a mural depicting Floyd in the northwestern town of Binnish, “on a wall destroyed by military planes.”
Most important of all, is the breaking of the silence against racial prejudice. The figurative dam seems to have finally bust open, as 2020 brings in a number of changes, including what could be a final end to blatant discrimination against people of African descent in the U.S.