Right-wing militants gathered at Cox Park in Louisville, Kentucky, preparing to head to the Louisville Metro Hall on September 5, 2020. Brandon Bell/Getty Images
The conflict against the protesters is weakening one of the largest social justice movements in history.
Saturday, September 5, should be the day Louisville revels in one of its most famous traditions-the Kentucky Derby-despite the presence of the coronavirus.
On the contrary, most of the city’s attention that day was on the dirt road of Churchill Downs, where the Louisville Metro Police Department and the National Guard gathered tall roadblocks and the protesters called on Brona Taylor Seeking results in the (Breonna Taylor) case. In the seven months since the approximately 27-year-old was fatally shot by the police in her home, there has been little movement. Protesters appeared, as did armed militias.
Although there were no spectators in the stands (the fans were all virtual), hundreds of NFAC armed members-the "Undead Alliance"-were placed on the grass outside of complicated time. A group of black men and women armed with weapons declared to the police that they were "response to threats, not threats."
"We had hoped to return to Louisville and celebrate the victory with these people. We had hoped [the Taylor case] has been closed," the team leader John "Master Jay Johnson" Johnson said at the Saturday event. Some in the black community had previously urged Churchill Downs to cancel the Kentucky Derby to show solidarity with the struggle for racial justice.
But the group began to disperse before Derby was even established, when a white militia organization appeared. Although Johnson told reporters that he reached an agreement with the local police department on the existence of NFAC, he said that the agreement was violated when other armed groups (where they protected the city from NFAC) were allowed to be allowed in the same space.
At the same time, earlier in the day, a few miles away from downtown Louisville, protesters from the "Black Residency Problem" clashed with members of the far-right armed militia organization "American Patriot America." The protesters held up the "Black Lives Matter" sign and chanted "Breonna Taylor", while the protesters held up the "Trump Keep America Great" sign and chanted "USA" and "Back the Blue", referring to the police.
Protests against police violence and racial justice The incident has occurred across the country since May, when a video of the Minneapolis police killing George Floyd (George Floyd) went viral. Although protesters have been in the city for a long time, tensions have become more intense in recent weeks and violence at the hands of extremists has become deadly.
On the same Labor Day weekend, demonstrators and armed militia gathered in other cities after other deadly conflicts on the street. On Labor Day, more than 1,000 Trump supporters, including supporters of the Patriot Prayer, supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory, and members of the Pride Boy, gathered in northwest Oregon to express their support for the president. And the supporter of the Patriot Prayer [a.aron Danielson] was killed by Michael Rienoehl in a conflict in Portland last weekend, who was considered to be an anti-French supporter.
The protesters also clashed with police and counter-protesters in Rochester after the police killed Daniel Prude, leading to the resignation of senior law enforcement. Officials.
"We thought it was a peaceful protest at the beginning, but it happened on the first night." Danielle Pound, a public defender based in Rochester, said that since the video of Prud’s killing, every All night protest on September 2. It's like war, like anything I have never seen before.
The intensity and frequency of these conflicts makes it obvious that as summer approaches, there are still two months left, and more conflicts will occur. Election day. The protesters have made it clear that they will only stop after justice is done. On the other hand, the far-right protesters are feeling more pressure to maintain the status quo of Trump's presidency. Coupled with local and federal officials calling for more police or National Guards as a solution, tensions will only increase. This chaos may lead to more divisions and deaths, shifting the focus to one of the largest civil rights movements in history, whose mission is to seek justice for the lives of blacks.
Why conflicts are increasing and appearing in the headlines
The latest report of A Armed Conflict Locations and Events Data Project in collaboration with Princeton University’s "Break the Divide Initiative" from May 26 to August 22 7,750 "Black Death" protests were found in 2,400 locations in the United States. Inspections of these incidents found that 93% of them remained peaceful, while protests in approximately 220 locations turned into “violent”, which was defined as destruction of property, including conflicts between protesters and police and counter-protesters . The report also found that in these places, violence is limited to specific neighborhoods in the city and is not widespread.
However, although the protests remained peaceful for about four months, the report warned that state power, stimulated by "dissidents," creates a polarized environment that will only make non-state behavior The demonstrators are "more active and confident", while the anti-demonstrators will "solve political disputes on the streets" before the election.
The author wrote: "If major mitigation measures are not taken, these risks will continue to increase before the vote."
The report also pointed out that since the National Guard has been deployed at least 55 times across the country. The killing of George Floyd in late May only increased tensions. The study also found that, compared with other demonstrations, government forces used excessive force when intervening in the "dark house" protests-firing tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray, or beating protesters with batons.
For example in Portland. On the surface, federal agents were dispatched in July to maintain peace, but instead using excessive force and detaining people in unmarked vehicles would only increase tensions. After the Department of Homeland Security deployed in Portland, "the report on the percentage of violent demonstrations stated:
Anti-protests are also increasing, and this trend can quickly escalate the number of violent conflicts, increasing from less than 17% To more than 42%, this shows that the federal response will only intensify the unrest. Summary of the report:
From May 24 to August 22, more than 360 counter-protests were recorded nationwide, accounting for all Nearly 5% of demonstrations. For example, 43 of them (nearly 12%) became violent, such as conflicts between demonstrators supporting the police and demonstrators related to the BLM movement. In July alone, ACLED recorded More than 160 protests, accounting for more than 8% of all demonstrations. 18 of them turned violent.
On August 23, armed protesters visited after the police shot Jacob Black in Kenosha, Wisconsin It was allegedly to protect the city from robbery and destruction. One of them was vigilant,  17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse killed two people and killed another , Was later charged with first-degree intentional homicide. This turmoil will cause more turmoil in Portland, where Trump supporters clashed with members of the anti-legal faction-both groups are peaceful The "black life issue" demonstrators separated, resulting in the death of Danielson.
Only between the police, the state and the federal government, conflicts will only continue to increase. Officials continue to take a hard line on the demonstrators. University of Michigan political scientist Christian Christian Davenport told Vox: "The current government seems to be thriving in chaos, so you can imagine there will be more things, which will only get rid of confrontation.
The earliest history of recent conflicts can be traced back to urban turmoil in the 1960s and 70s. Since 1964, tensions between black demonstrators and law enforcement have been in Rochester, Philadelphia, and New York. Cities such as Wacker caused riots. By 1967, hundreds of cities had experienced a long and hot summer. The cities marked the city’s rebellion and turmoil.
While thinking about it, it was similar to the civil rights movement. "National Police There are tanks and dogs! "She said of the current Rochester protests. "I was wearing a T-shirt and jeans there, and we were wearing full military uniforms and people in riot suits. It feels like a complete war zone. Once we ran into a church. I keep thinking, ‘we are hiding from the government in the church. ’They even sprayed pepper outside the church!
Because of these historical origins, there are dueling performances, Davenport said. "To what extent do the demonstrators seem to be able to remain non-violent, but will persist?"
Although the "black house" demonstrators were there to arouse people's attention to systemic oppression, the emergence of far-right protesters represented the desire to resist social change. "These people are not sad. They believe that they are protecting what they see as natural order. They see these other people as infidels and threats. "Davenport said.
The emergence of other non-state actors, such as anti-fafa and NFAC, has increasingly played the role of "openly intimidating perceived "enemies", such as "Opponents", according to the report. Although violence does not occur every time these groups appear, tensions may escalate quickly.
In the end, counter-protests tended to crowd out the middle protesters. Davenport said: "Then we will have a competition, not an intermediate competition, but an extreme competition.
To make things more complicated, and to further harm the peaceful demonstrators is that the right-wing counter-protesters and the government have overlapping interests.
In a video tape on Labor Day weekend, a counter-protester told the president. Some people are holding guns, bragging about the needs of law and order like the president, and chanting "Back the Blue" to show their support for law enforcement.
Black Live Matter supporters say they are there to support the police , And not the "bad guys" among the police. "We are not here to defend their actions against the police. They do not need justice at all. But at the same time, we cannot attribute the actions of a few people to everyone. "A huge Trump 2020 flag hangs next to the opposition protesters.
"Your well-informed group is already hostile, and the group knows too much about their lives. They feel about what is happening. Frustrated, and insisted Davenport said.
Why activists will remain organized in the election activities before and after the election
Through all these activities, Black’s life issue protesters have never avoided their request: a complete reconsideration of American criminal justice and law enforcement Desire for how the system works.
Ponder said that in Rochester, their requirements were clear. The protesters called on the mayor's lover Warren and the deputy mayor James Smith to resign. They demanded prosecution of the officer involved in Prude’s killing -Prude with a clinical history of mental illness died after the officer put a net-like "range hood" on his head –and the city The "Daniel Act" was enacted, which would prohibit officers from responding to mental health.
They also demanded that the police be immediately demilitarized, because 86% of all adult arrests in Rochester were police misdemeanors. Finally, the activists appealed to the Rochester Police Department for funding, which would receive approximately $100 million per year. Pound said that the school district’s budget has recently been cut by about 20%, while the police department has cut it by only 5%.
Moreover, they will continue to walk around the streets, like 93% of the country’s peaceful demonstrations, until their requirements are met. The election has little effect on this.
Although people generally think that elections are a good end point for facilitating mobilization, the difficulty of thinking about "black life issues" only in the context of elections has lost "people frustrated with generations," Davenport said. "Not every four years.
Will Black Lives Matter activists choose to change their strategy to separate themselves from the right-wing agent provocateurs, especially those in the front? This is the value of decades that brought us to the Democratic and Republican parties. The point where people are responsible. The election is still inconclusive, but the issue of the relationship between conflict and election may be freed from the deeper goals of the movement.
"If "Black Life is Important" and its associates can say "Let us change the nature of confrontation with the perpetrator of the violence to allow us to exert pressure, but not allow us to manipulate our behavior or existence in a way that may cause other narrative methods to contribute to a certain way. Let us not participate in what has become our grievance Anti-performance. Davenport said.
At the same time, Ponder is considering the changes that need to be made locally in Rochester-"Thousands of people may be Daniel Prud, because our officers continue to make the black community inhumane", But it is also hoped that the movement will continue to boost and inspire young people, despite repeated conflicts with law enforcement and opponents.
"I have never seen such a black movement. She said: "I have never seen so many young blacks protesting on the street." "I hope this will enable them to make more demands of elected officials.
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