Last week, protests over the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police on 25 May continued to grow across the United States as demonstrations continued in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and around the world.
It is estimated that over 400 towns and cities have been the site of demonstrations thus far.
Tens of thousands continued demonstrations throughout last week, the vast majority of which were peaceful despite growing incidents of police brutality, the presence of the National Guard, and, in the nation’s capital, armed troops wearing no identification.
National Guard members were called into 23 states, marking the largest call-up of the National Guard in American history.
Just as in the street protests around the world in 2019, as reported in detail in the Trends Journal and in one of our 2020 Top Trends, the “New World Disorder,” police brutality, with the use of tear gas, rubber bullets, flash-bang grenades, and ramming police vehicles directly at protesters is happening in America.
By the week’s end, well over 10,000 protesters had been arrested on charges ranging from curfew violations to failure to disperse to looting.
In the New York City area, there were over 2,000 burglaries committed, mostly in Manhattan, with expensive items targeted in many instances such as $750,000 worth of furs stolen from one store.
In Minneapolis, MN, there has been over $50 million in property damage due to looting and arson. At least 220 buildings have fire damage.
Many cities across the U.S. saw some rioting and looting including Miami, Nashville, Cleveland, Dallas, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles.
Some key events from last week:
- By last Wednesday, thousands of protesters returned to the streets and parks near the White House and the Capitol where just a day before police and military troops had cleared the areas.
- The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), joining with other civil rights groups, filed a lawsuit against President Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr for violating the constitutional rights of protesters. The lawsuit cites both the First Amendment right for free speech and assembly and the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure. Police fired tear gas and launched flash-bang shells to clear protestors, so President Trump could walk to a nearby church and stage a photo-op holding a Bible.
- In New York City, clashes between protestors and police escalated during the week. NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams tweeted last Wednesday from the scene of a violent confrontation: “I can’t believe what I just witnessed & experienced. The force used on nonviolent protestors was disgusting. No looting/no fires…What happened was completely avoidable. I’m so ashamed of @NYCMayor.”
- On the “looting” and “fires” side, in areas of the Bronx, stores were broken into, looted, and burned. The shop of Francisco Araujo, owner of a small watch and jewelry store with eight employees, was ransacked. “We have to fix the store and we’re not making money,” Mr. Araujo said. He continued, “Black lives matter, all lives matter, but what about my life, my family’s life? My family’s life matters. You cannot justify doing something wrong because something wrong happened.”
- In upscale Santa Monica, CA, some 225 businesses were damaged, 76 looted, and some 50 others were vandalized. Ten had fire and/or smoke damage.The store of Steve Litvak, owner of Santa Monica Homeopathic Pharmacy, was ransacked. He said, “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was a mob, 40, 50, 60 people on every corner… There were hundreds of people walking down Broadway breaking windows… They were tearing apart anything in their path.” Mr. Litvak, who is in his early 60s, was assaulted by three men who “took me down to my knees.”
- When a protest erupted in Brooklyn at the end of May, what started out as a peaceful got out of control with police attacking and beating demonstrators, and protestors setting a number of police vehicles on fire.As peaceful demonstrations continued last week riot, police “kettled” them in (encircling demonstrators so they had no way to exit). With batons swinging, police arrested hundreds, regardless of race, creed, or color.Mayor Mr. de Blasio, who ran on a platform to reform the police, defended the kettling saying, “There comes a point where enough is enough.”
- From Australia to France, from Zimbabwe to Germany, despite social distancing rules (yet mostly wearing face masks), tens of thousands in nations across the globe filled the streets, protesting against the death of George Floyd and for an end to racism and police brutality in their own countries.
TRENDPOST: Long before the latest “People vs. The Police” in the U.S., citizens around the world have been subjected to police brutality and military control.
Again, the “New World Disorder,” one of our 2020 Top Trends, detailed the scores of riots, protests, and demonstrations erupting as millions took to the streets to protest the lack of basic living standards, crime, violence, and government corruption. The general response by governments, from developed to emerging markets, was to instill new laws to limit protests and/or beat them down.
Those protests have been quelled as a result of the COVID lockdowns, but they are now starting to re-ignite.
America, which has long been losing its “We’re #1/We’re Exceptional” status, is now, as we had written in last week’s Trends Journal, an open target for becoming a police state from both allies and enemies.
TREND FORECAST: Riots, protests, demonstrations, violence, and crime will continue to accelerate across the globe as economic conditions continue to deteriorate and police state repression escalates.
Nations and states will increase police/military action to quell unrest and impose laws, curfews, and regulations that will diminish rights and freedoms.
As civil unrest spreads, economic depression worsens and government repression increases, it will spill civil wars beyond borders, igniting cross-border wars.
The refugee crisis that persisted long before the COVID War will intensify, which, in turn, will increase nationalistic and populist movements in nations most affected by the surge.