Mark Sumner (Daily Kos Staff) reports There was one group behind the violence on Thursday night, and it sure as hell was not antifa. Excerpts follow.
There were moments on Thursday evening worth celebrating. On the day that memorial services for George Floyd began, protesters in Washington D.C. withstood a pounding thunderstorm to stand vigil in the rain. Across the nation, thousands again came out for a seventh day, and a seventh night, of protests in small towns and large cities coast to coast. In Mobile, Alabama, the bronze statue of Confederate Admiral Raphael Semmes that had looked over the 70% Black city for most of a century was removed. And in city after city, protests were peaceful … on the part of protesters.
But what happened most notably on Thursday evening was that in multiple locations police used curfews as an excuse to come after nonviolent protesters with violence of an extraordinary, and in many cases sickening, degree. The images left behind were of genuine riots—police riots—and an incident that may be the very definition of “depraved indifference.”
In some locations, the police didn’t even wait for curfew to provide an excuse before launching into civilians with a level of violence and brutality that absolutely underlines the need for massive, systematic change in law enforcement.
In Los Angeles, police launched into protesters without apparent cause, but with an obvious and unsupported level of violence that let to broken limbs and worse.
… in what may be the most viscerally ugly moment of the evening, there was … this. The moment when an elderly man, part of a small group of protesters in Buffalo, New York, tried to talk with police who had decided to sweep everyone from a public square.
Unbelievably, the police involved originally reported that they had cleared the square without incident, though one man “tripped and fell.” Two of the officers in this video have now been suspended. Every one of them should be fired. The level of casual violence and indifference to suffering caught in this moment doesn’t border on the sociopathic, it defines it. And this video, on top of the official report that someone had “tripped” made clear once again how easily the worst actions can be covered up when a camera is not around.
George Floyd’s death is a catalyst, and his individual tragedy, his individual humanity, is still at the center of this moment. But this has gone far, far, far beyond what happens now with those officers directly involved in Floyd’s death. Nothing less than a fundamental change in the whole of American policing will suffice. On Thursday night, the police made that obvious.
But the police are not the only group responsible for violence.
Evidence mounts of far-right extremists’ violent chicanery at police protests around the nation reports David Neiwert (Daily Kos Staff).
Donald Trump may not want to believe it, but the evidence is beginning to mount around the nation that white supremacists and assorted far-right “Boogaloo Bois” are working overtime to leverage protests around the United States against police brutality in the wake of the George Floyd killing—not to merely join the protests, but to both inflict violence and property damage, as well as to threaten other communities with it, all in order to heighten political tensions around the protests.
The tactics vary: Some are showing up disguised as anarchists or sympathizers, while some are arriving fully armed, in camo and body armor, with the Hawaiian shirts signifying the far-right “Boogaloo” civil-war movement. Others are simply spreading false information on the Internet by posing as antifa and telling smaller suburban and exurban communities that hordes of ravening anarchists are about to descend on their communities and break all their windows—sending those communities into fits of paranoid overreaction.
Check out the cited articles for clips supporting the conclusions drawn by the Kos writers.