May 31 marks the sixth day of unrest across the United States over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died last Monday after police officer Derek Chauvin who is white, kneeled on Floyd’s neck and suffocated him to death.
The eruption of protests condemning the disturbing act follows other recent deaths of unarmed black civilians such as Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.
Although most of these demonstrations began peacefully, over the weekend many have taken a violent turn with increased instances of arson, looting, and vandalism being reported in a growing number of US cities.
While the National Guard and local law enforcement work to contain the protests, President Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to urge Democrat leaders to “get tough and fight,” pushing for more drastic tactics to be used to combat the violence.
“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd,” Trump tweeted last Friday. “Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
As the world watches the chaos unfold, rallies form around US embassies in other major cities in solidarity with the US demonstrators. In London, thousands marched from Trafalgar Square to the city’s US embassy, chanting and waving signs that read, “No justice! No peace!” Similar gatherings have taken place in other cities including Berlin, Copenhagen, and Rio de Janeiro.
Meanwhile in China, officials are keeping a close eye on Trump’s increasingly retaliatory response to the unrest.
Following public criticism of the Chinese government and support for Hong Kong protesters, Chinese state-owned media outlets were quick to point out Trump’s hypocrisy.
“I want to ask Speaker Pelosi and Secretary Pompeo: Should Beijing support protests in the US, like you glorified rioters in Hong Kong?” tweeted Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of Global Times, a Chinese state-owned newspaper.
Chinese media has also circulated video clips comparing Hong Kong police during the island’s protests with US law enforcement.
This comes several days after the Trump Administration stripped Hong Kong of its special privileges status exposing the special autonomous region to the same treatment mainland China receives from the US.
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