BLACK LIVES MATTER: Global uprising against police brutality
By Juan Conatz
After a tumultuous week at the beginning of July 2016, in which police murders of black men were caught on film in Minnesota and Louisiana, and a dozen police were shot by a lone gunman in Dallas, protests against racialized police brutality went ahead in many U.S. cities.
St. Paul, Minnesota
Protestors started an occupation in front of the governor’s mansion. On July 10, Interstate 94 was blockaded and shut down for five hours. Later on in the night, protestors and police clashed. Over 100 people were arrested. Efforts to obtain information and bail money for those arrested is underway at the time of writing.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
After a 1,000-strong march through the city on July 10, police attempted to keep the march from continuing into the evening. They donned riot gear and forced the marchers out of the road. There were more than 120 people arrested over the weekend. DeRay McKesson, celebrity activist and school privatization crusader, was among those arrested.
A large rally took place at the FedExForum on July 9, followed by a march. Hundreds from the march went onto the Interstate 40 bridge, bringing traffic to a standstill. The city’s interim police director was shouted down after he attempted to speak.
A “sea of thousands” attempted to march and block off interstate on-ramps on July 8, but were turned away by police. A large crowd gathered outside the headquarters of CNN as well, seemingly to protest the cable station’s coverage of recent high-profile police killings of people of color.
Traffic was disrupted and the yearly “Taste of Chicago” event on July 9 was interrupted as people marched through downtown. Approximately 20 people were arrested.
Rochester, New York
Around 70 people were arrested on July 8 as police responded aggressively to a march that took up the roads and delayed traffic.
Marches and solidarity actions took place in many more cities in the United States, and even spread to Europe, where rallies occurred in London, Amsterdam and Berlin. Although considerable energy is now being spent supporting people who have been arrested, there is no indication that the movement against racialized police brutality, commonly referred to as Black Lives Matter, is going away any time soon.