United Kingdom

George Floyd protests: Tanker barrels into crowd as anti-racism protesters return to city streets

Many of the protests taking place in Minneapolis today have been peaceful, but there is a palpable sense of anger among a visible minority.

One particularly high-profile protester riled up the crowd as he accused law enforcement of "trying to kill us with chemical warfare". 

"In the middle of Covid, they use tear gas. They are trying to kill us intentionally. This is first-degree murder," he said.

"They already got their foot on our necks. I say we put our foot on their necks. 

"Dr King said riots are the language of the unheard. Malcolm said by any means necessary."

He went on to say that there were "bad actors" among the protesters, claiming to have just encountered an organised group of white supremacists who were equipped with walkie-talkies.

Meanwhile Nia, a young African-American woman, told The Telegraph that she had experienced "many" incidents of police brutality - the worst of which involved her being shot by an officer five years ago.  

She said watching the video of George Floyd's last minutes had been "traumatic", and she was out on the street to show her support.

Nia said Donald Trump's claims that Antifa, the coalition of far-left, anti-fascist activists, were "really ignorant".  

"Everything that comes out his mouth is really ignorant," she said.

"It's like no facts behind it, even with the people burning things down. I'm not necessarily saying all the black people was doing that - but like outrage over the looting and rioting - it's a cause and effect. 

"They don't know any other way to express themselves. The peaceful protesting is not working so that's why we're taking different strategies to get their attention. That's why we're doing all that.

"Like he (Trump) is just making it seem like black people is just doing all the rioting for no reason, there's no cause for it. We need some way to get their attention, make things move faster and get them cops in jail, for real." 

Another protester, Kathi, said Mr Trump had expressed a "very clear double standard" in his treatment of the current protests and the recent protests against the stay-home order.

"They were much more aggressive and they were not being as respectful and he called them very good people. They weren't faced with all of these national guards coming in and the gas grenades, the rubber bullets. They didn't get any of that. I think it's very clear why that's the case," Kathi said.

- Rozina Sabur, in Minneapolis

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