Demonstrations Against Police Violence Occupy Streets in US and UK
Amid heightened tensions and fear for safety after deadly Dallas sniper ambush, Black Lives Matter protests against police violence took to the streets in major American cities and the UK
Demonstrations Against Police Violence Occupy Streets in US and UK
"The United States is far from recognizing the same rights for all its citizens."—Ricardo A. Sunga III, United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent (Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)
By Nika Knight / commondreams.org

From Phoenix, Arizona, to London, UK, the cry was the same: "Black lives matter!"

Massive demonstrations responding to the recent fatal police shootings of Alton Sterlingand Philando Castile took place in Phoenix, New York City, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis, San Francisco, Nashville, Baton Rouge, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Rochester, New York, late Saturday evening.

On Sunday, protests took place across the pond in the UK in London, Brixton, and Bristol.

In the U.S., these latest protests occurred amid heightened tensions and fears for security after a lone gunman shot and killed five police officers and wounded seven people at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday.

The majority of the demonstrations on Saturday were reportedly peaceful, although there were reported clashes with police and widespread arrests in Rochester, New York, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and St. Paul, Minnesota.

Rights advocates condemned the mass arrests that occurred in several cities: "The sheer number of arrests last night raises serious questions about proportionate response to peaceful protests," said Jamira Burley, Amnesty International's campaign manager for gun violence and criminal justice reform. "Law enforcement officers cannot selectively decide which laws to enforce during demonstrations—be it against journalists, legal observers or protestors."

In Baton Rouge, prominent activist DeRay Mckesson was arrested by police while filming the demonstration. The Guardian reports:

Police in Baton Rouge arrested several protesters including DeRay Mckesson, a prominent figure within the Black Lives Matter movement, and were reported to be charging at other crowds of demonstrators. Officers seized Mckesson while he was peacefully broadcasting live footage of the demonstration from his cellphone. The reason for his arrest was unclear. Friends said he was taken away in a police van along with other detainees.

A photo of Mckesson's arrest circulated widely on Twitter, where some users also alleged that officers had been violent while arresting Mckesson:

As of Sunday morning, Mckesson remained in police custody.

Seventy-four people were arrested at the demonstration in Rochester, New York—including two journalists. Most of those arrested were charged with disorderly conduct, while two were charged with resisting arrest. The local police chief later apologized for arresting the reporters. Many others remained in custody as of Sunday morning.

In Minnesota, protesters shut down the large arterial I-94 for hours:

And a group of Indigenous dancers arrived to perform in solidarity with the demonstrators on the highway, while police looked on:

Local media reports that later in the evening some protesters threw fireworks, rocks, and bricks at police officers on I-94, leading to non-serious injuries to 21 officers. Ultimately, 102 people were arrested.

On Sunday, protesters on the other side of the Atlantic shut down Oxford Circus traffic and rallied outside of the U.S. embassy in London:

A demonstrator in Brixton, UK, reported that the takeaway message from the protest there was that "freedom is never given. You have to take it. Freedom isn't a distant dream, it's possible."

The recent killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in Louisiana and Minnesota, respectively, have drawn nationwide attention again to the issue of systemic violence against black men and women at the hands of the police in the United States.

Indeed, as Shadowproof's Kevin Gosztola writes, "Police have shot more people in the first six months of 2016 than they did last year. There have been 491 people killed, according to the Washington Post. Black people continue to be killed at two-and-a-half times the rate of white people."

The issue is gaining increasing international attention.

Human rights expert Ricardo A. Sunga III, who currently chairs the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, on Friday issued a statement "strongly condemning" Sterling's and Castile's killings.

Sunga's statement concludes:

The killings[...] demonstrate a high level of structural and institutional racism. The United States is far from recognizing the same rights for all its citizens. Existing measures to address racist crimes motivated by prejudice are insufficient and have failed to stop the killings.

It is time, now, for the U.S. Government to strongly assert that Black lives matter and prevent any further killings as a matter of national priority.

Also on Friday, in response to the killings the Bahamas issued a travel advisory warning for its citizens traveling to the United States.

"In particular young males are asked to exercise extreme caution in affected cities in their interactions with the police," the advisory reads. "Do not be confrontational and cooperate." 

As Michael Halpern, program manager of the Center for Science and Democracy, writes: "Our humanity is threatened by these conditions, and we must do all we can to confront and change them."


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

3.5 ·
1
What's Next
Trending Today
10 Provocative Quotes from Ivan Illich's "Deschooling Society"
Daniel Lattier · 18,303 views today · Ivan Illich’s groundbreaking book Deschooling Society (1971) offers a radical critique of the institutionalization of education within modern societies. Illich believed that we...
This Text Message Exchange Between a Mother and Daughter is Pure Gold
Belinda Hankins · 7,039 views today · When Belinda Hankins got a text message from her 13-year-old daughter, who was shopping for period products, it started an exchange that will resonate with women everywhere. Enjoy.
Welcome to Marinaleda: The Spanish Anti-Capitalist Town With Equal Wage Full Employment and $19 Housing
Jade Small · 4,668 views today · With virtually no police, crime or unemployment, meet the Spanish town described as a democratic, socialist utopia. Unemployment is non-existent in Marinaleda, an Andalusian...
11 Traits of People With High Emotional Intelligence
Raven Fon · 4,545 views today · Lately, new ways to describe human interactions, social behaviours, and many facets of psychology have emerged on the social network scene. One of those descriptions is “high...
Superblocks: How Barcelona Is Taking City Streets Back From Cars
5 min · 4,287 views today · Modern cities are designed for cars. But the city of Barcelona is testing out an urban design trick that can give cities back to pedestrians.
When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren't Called 'Hitler'
Liam O'Ceallaigh · 4,118 views today · Take a look at this picture. Do you know who it is? Most people haven’t heard of him. But you should have. When you see his face or hear his name you should get as sick in...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 3,575 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
Throw (2016)
10 min · 2,661 views today · The first installment of Invisible Thread, an ongoing ELM passion project series, Throw tells the story of an outsider from East Baltimore, an area challenged by gang violence...
Who Are You? Watching This Breathtaking Video Could Be the Moment You Change Your Life
2 min · 2,658 views today · "Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can...
Real Change in Democracy Comes Not in the Voting Booth but Activism at the Grass-Roots
Ilze Peterson · 1,760 views today · Many years ago, the late Judy Guay, a low-income woman from Bangor, founded the Maine Association of Interdependent Neighborhoods in order to advocate for the neediest in our...
Fighting Trump - Residents Opposing Donald Trump's Scottish Golf Resort
14 min · 1,743 views today · Documentary on the residents protesting against Donald Trump's golf development on the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Directed and Presented by James Trosh.
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,653 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
93 Documentaries to Expand Your Consciousness
Films For Action · 1,630 views today · There are over 800 documentaries now cataloged in our library of social change films. That's probably way too many for any mortal to ever watch in a lifetime, let alone a few...
What You Might Notice If You Forgot Your Phone For a Day
2 min · 1,556 views today · There is a moment happening right in front of you, right this second, and you just might be missing it
Doctors Response to Daily Mail Bigotry is Beautiful
Neil Tiwari · 1,422 views today · A poetic open letter to the Daily Mail newspaper from Dr. Neil Tiwari, in response to a bigoted attack on his colleagues, is going viral and it's beautiful.
Ikigai - Finding Your Reason for Being
Chip Richards · 1,362 views today · What Gets You Out of Bed in the Morning? When asked what is the single most powerful contributing factor to one’s health and vitality, integrative medical...
Forest Man
16 min · 1,195 views today · Since the 1970's Majuli islander Jadav Payeng has been planting trees in order to save his island. To date he has single handedly planted a forest larger than Central Park NYC...
How to Criticize with Kindness: Philosopher Daniel Dennett on the Four Steps to Arguing Intelligently
Maria Popova · 1,033 views today · “Just how charitable are you supposed to be when criticizing the views of an opponent?”
Maya Angelou's 3-Word Secret to Living Your Best Life
3 min · 959 views today · Dr. Maya Angelou says that in order to be the best human being you can be, you must follow one simple directive: "Just do right." Watch as Dr. Angelou reveals how you can never...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 833 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Demonstrations Against Police Violence Occupy Streets in US and UK