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10 keys to understanding US anti-racial protests

After the death of Afro-descendant George Floyd, suffocated on the ground with the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, the United States lives a week of protests and demonstrations against racist police violence.

The massive protests have left three dead, dozens injured and more than two thousand people detained, and also generated curfews in several cities in the United States.

The world has also shown solidarity with the demand for justice in the American streets and the protests have reached London, Germany, Paris, Austria and Argentina, among others, with the slogan "I can't breathe" ("I can't breathe" ).

Let's see 10 keys to understand the massive protests:

1.- Afro-descendant George Floyd, 46, was the father of a 6-year-old girl and a former security guard, who had lost his job as millions of Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.

On May 25, he was denounced for trying to pay with an alleged fake $ 20 bill, and was arrested by four agents.

One of them, Derek Chauvin, knelt on Floyd's neck for several minutes, and despite his plea that he could not breathe, Chauvin did not remove his knee until Floyd died.

2.- The official autopsy, carried out by the Hennepin County Forensic Institute, in Minnesota, indicates that Chauvin kept his knee on his neck for almost nine minutes and points to a homicide by asphyxia, but also indicates that Floyd suffered health problems and He was under the influence of toxins that could be factors that contributed to his death, local media said.

Despite an independent autopsy requested by Floyd's family, it rules out that there were underlying conditions in his health and reveals that suffocation was the only cause of death.

3.- Derek Chauvin along with his other 3 companions, were separated from the police force but not accused. Faced with social pressure, five days after the protests began, Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder and faces a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

Chauvin worked for the Minneapolis Police Department for more than 18 years and is now being held in Oak Park Heights State Prison, the highest level of custody in Minnesota's correctional system.

4.- The protests began peacefully in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the day after Floyd's death. However, the situation began to change: looting and much repression by the police appeared.

5.- State authorities and mayors deployed some 5 National Guard personnel, a corps of reservists, in at least 16 states (Minnesota, Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin) and the District of Columbia.

6.- The protests reached the White House itself where they left broken fences, stones and bottles and screams, which forced the president, Donald Trump, to take refuge in the bunker, designed for use in emergencies such as terrorist attacks, reported AP.

7.- Trump criticized the clades and governors for not being able to contain the protests and threatened to take the army out onto the streets. "If any city or state refuses to take the necessary steps to defend the life and property of its residents, I will deploy the Army to quickly solve the problem myself," Trump said.

He also pointed to "radical left extremists" as responsible for the riots and announced that the Antifa (Antifascist) movement will be included in the list of terrorist organizations, Clarin notes.

8.- The warning to militarize the country was harshly criticized and rejected by the pentagon, from where Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who pointed out that “the option of using active troops in the role of guarantors of the law should be only used as a last resort, and only in the most urgent and extreme situations ».

9.- International reactions to the wave of demonstrations and strong police repression were immediate.

The spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zhao Lijian, lamented the "chronic illness" that the US suffers with racism and criticized "the police violence" in this country when it comes to tackling "the seriousness of the problem of racism».

For her part, the spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, María Zajárova, assured that the US has lost the right to "make comments to anyone on this planet about human rights", especially due to the US police response to the protesters.

10.- The protests take place just as the United States has become the world epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, for which reason the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, informed that they will carry out tests of coronavirus on all those who have attended the protests of the last days. An estimated 30.000 people have protested in New York State. "Many wear masks, but there is no distancing of any kind," Cuomo said.

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