Responses to BLM protests 2020

Politics • American • US
DOJ labels NYC, Portland and Seattle "Anarchist Jurisdiction", moves to cut federal funding
DOJ labels NYC, Portland and Seattle "Anarchist Jurisdiction", moves to cut federal funding
Credit: unsplash.com/Jakayla Toney

The United States Department of Justice has declared New York City, Portland and Seattle "anarchist jurisdictions" as all three cities "have permitted violence and destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract criminal activities." This move comes after President Trump signed a memo that threatened to defund Democratic-led cities he deemed "lawless".

Designated cities face potential financial consequences and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio's office is preparing to sue in case of funding cuts.

Politics • American • US
Louisville police arrested 68 people at Breonna Taylor protests
Louisville police arrested 68 people at Breonna Taylor protests
Credit: unsplash.com/Maria Oswalt

During Tuesday's Breonna Taylor protests in Louisville, at least 68 people were arrested. According to Robert Schroeder, interim chief for the Louisville Metro Police Department, the protests were mostly peaceful but a group of protestors "crossed several intersections, creating dangerous situations as traffic continued to try to make its way in the area." Those who didn't follow the police orders to stay on the sidewalks were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing the roadway.

Politics • American • US
Fifteen US mayors sign letter opposing use of federal law enforcement with "no oversight" against protesters
Black Lives Matter protest in Portland, Oregon. People protesting police brutality and the deaths of several members of the Black community - sparked by the recent death of George Floyd.
Black Lives Matter protest in Portland, Oregon. People protesting police brutality and the deaths of several members of the Black community - sparked by the recent death of George Floyd. Credit: unsplash.com/Tito Texidor III

Fifteen US mayors have addressed a letter to Attorney General William Barr and Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf opposing the use of federal federal law enforcement with "no oversight" against protesters. The letter is calling the act of deploying federal forces against protesters an "abuse of power" and is demanding the withdrawal of "extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence" from Portland and other American cities.

"These are tactics we expect from authoritarian regimes -- not our democracy [...] The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked a national uprising and reckoning. The majority of the protests have been peaceful and aimed at improving our communities. Where this is not the case, it still does not justify the use of federal forces. Unilaterally deploying these paramilitary-type forces into our cities is wholly inconsistent with our system of democracy and our most basic values," the letter, posted by Mayor Muriel Bowser, said.

The list of mayors who signed the letter is as follows: Jenny A. Durkan, Seattle; Ted Wheeler, Portland; Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta; Lori Lightfoot, Chicago; Muriel Bowser, Washington DC; Quinton D. Lucas, Kansas City; Martin J. Walsh, Boston; Jim Kenny, Philadelphia; Michael Hancock, Denver; Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles; Sam Liccardo, San Jose; Libby Schaaf, Oakland; Regina Romera, Tucson; Darrell Steinberg, Sacramento; Kate Gallego, Phoenix.

Portland officials had previously stated that federal officers were working in coordination with local law enforcement but have since come out saying that "coordination was not made with Portland police" as the "federal police have their marching order."

According to Chad Wolf, federal law enforcement had only been deployed to Portland. On Monday, Trump vowed to send federal officers to other cities.

Politics • American • US
Justice Department charged 4 men for trying to take down Andrew Jackson monument
Andrew Jackson memorial, Lafayette Park, Washington, D.C
Andrew Jackson memorial, Lafayette Park, Washington, D.C Credit: Daderot (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

Four men have been charged with destruction of federal property by the Justice Department. The complaint alleges that Lee Cantrell, Connor Judd, Ryan Lane and Graham Lloyd had "damaged and attempted to tear down the statue depicting Andrew Jackson located in Lafayette Square" and that "Cantrell was captured on video attempting to pry the statue off its base." According to the DOJ's statement, Judd was arrested on Friday.

Politics • American • US
Princeton University to remove Woodrow Wilson's name from school
Robertson Hall, home to Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Robertson Hall, home to Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs Credit: Zane R. / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Princeton University's board of trustees announced on Saturday that they would remove Woodrow Wilson's name from Princeton's School of Public and International Affairs. Wilson served as the U.S. president from 1913 to 1921 and is known for his involvement in the resegregation of multiple agencies of the U.S. government.

"We believe that Wilson's racist thinking and policies make him an inappropriate namesake for a school whose scholars, students, and alumni must be firmly committed to combatting the scourge of racism in all its forms," read the statement by the board.

Politics • American • US
Trump says he has authorised Feds to "arrest anyone who vandalizes" Federal property
Donald Trump at the South Lawn of the White House on June 5, 2020
Donald Trump at the South Lawn of the White House on June 5, 2020 Credit: The White House from Washington, DC / Public domain

Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he has "authorised" the Federal Government to "arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S."

He further added that the "action is taken effective immediately" and that the offense would be punishable with "up to 10 years in prison."

This move comes after protestors have taken down Confederate statues and monuments while protesting against systemic racism and police brutality.

Politics • American • US
Black Lives Matter banner removed from U.S. embassy in Seoul after Trump displeased
Black Lives Matter banner removed from U.S. embassy in Seoul after Trump displeased
Credit: U.S. Embassy Seoul / Twitter

After just two days, the embassy of the United States in South Korea has taken down the banner with the message "Black Lives Matter".

Bloomberg and Reuters report that the banner was removed after President Trump expressed displeasure with it.

Politics • American • US
New York, Iowa ban Police chokehold method
New York, Iowa ban Police chokehold method
Credit: unsplash.com/AJ Colores

On Friday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a bill that bans the controversial Police chokehold method. On the same day, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a similar bill which was passed unanimously by the Iowa Legislature. Californian Gov. Gavin Newsom also called for the ban of the chokehold, which he called "stranglehold", as it had "no place any longer in 21st-century practices and policing".

Politics • American • US
Breonna's Law passed, banning "no-knock warrants" in Louisville
A sign at BLM protest in Atlanta, demanding Justice for Breonna Taylor
A sign at BLM protest in Atlanta, demanding Justice for Breonna Taylor Credit: unsplash.com/Maria Oswalt

On Thursday, the Metro Council of Louisville, Kentucky has unanimously passed Breonna's Law, banning "no-knock" search warrants. The law is named after Louisville 26-year-old resident Breonna Taylor who was shot in her home by police officers on March 13. Officers will be required the also turn on body cameras before entering and searching an apartment.

District 1 Councilwoman Jessica Green told WHAS: "This is probably the proudest moment I have had as a member of this council. So, it's a good day to be a Louisvillain. The entire world is watching us."

Technology • Internet & Web
Microsoft: No facial recognition software without a legal basis
Brad Smith
Brad Smith Credit: Microsoft (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

After IBM and Amazon, Microsoft has now announced that it no longer wants to make facial recognition software available to the US police.

The basis for further cooperation can only be a legal framework based on human rights.

The reason for the temporary interruption of the cooperation is seen in the criticism that was given in the context of the demonstrations surrounding the death of George Floyd.

"We will not sell facial recognition tech to police in the U.S. until there is a national law in place," said Brad Smith, Microsoft's president ,speaking via video conference at a Washington Post event.

Politics • American • US
Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight loses advertisers over Black Lives Matter comment
Tucker Carlson at the 2018 Student Action Summit
Tucker Carlson at the 2018 Student Action Summit Credit: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Many US companies have pulled advertising from Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight after Carlson's comment on the recent Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd. In his show on June 6, Carlson told viewers: "It is definitely not about black lives, and remember that when they come for you, and at this rate, they will."

The list of companies that are distancing themselves from Carlson, include Disney, Papa John's Pizza and T-Mobile. Asked whether T-Mobile would support Carlon's message on Twitter, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert replied: "It definitely is not. Bye-bye Tucker Carlson! #BlackLivesMatter"