Sprawling Protest Movement Treads Line Between Justice Agenda and Chaos

Escalating violence and destruction on Friday raised questions about whether a diverse, broadly decentralized protest movement was spinning out of control.

The nation woke on Saturday to extraordinary images of chaos and unrest from outside the White House gates to the streets of more than two dozen besieged cities, as outrage over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis traversed a razor’s edge between protest and civic meltdown.

As state and local leaders braced for more protests over the weekend in cities around the country, they both called for calm and vowed to react strongly to protesters who defied the law.

The Pentagon ordered the Army to prepare active-duty military police units to deploy to Minneapolis as protests engulfed that city for a fourth night on Friday, with businesses set on fire and gunshots fired near a police precinct.

Rallies, looting and unrest expanded far beyond Minneapolis with protesters destroying police vehicles in Atlanta and New York, and blocking major streets in San Jose and Detroit. Crowds in Milwaukee chanted, “I can’t breathe,” and demonstrators in Portland, Ore., lit a fire inside the Multnomah County Justice Center. Hundreds of demonstrators poured into the streets near the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, smashing windows, clashing with police officers and vandalizing CNN’s headquarter

The chaos and rage on such a broad scale evoked the Black Lives Matter demonstrations of recent years; the violence that followed the police beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles in 1992; and even the racial strife of the 1960s, when the fury and despair of inner-city African-Americans over racism and poverty erupted in scores of cities, reaching a climax in 1967 and 1968, two years that saw more than 150 riots.

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"Sprawling Protest Movement Treads Line Between Justice Agenda and Chaos"; By John Eligon, Matt Furber, and Campbell Robertson; New York Times; May 30, 2020

Keywords: MplsPD, MplsIssues

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