FROM THE MAIL TO MINNEAPOLIS. The Pentagon mobilizes its troops to restore order after another night of protests, unrest and looting across America. The deployment of the National Guard, however, begins to have some effect, at least in Minneapolis, where yesterday evening it managed to prevent the looting and fires of Friday. In part, resistance also came from protesters who sincerely wanted to ask for justice for George Floyd, and refused to be hijacked by extremists who instead pursued other agendas with violence, compromising the image of the movement born of the abuse on Monday. In Indianapolis the worst toll: at least three people injured by gunfire and one dead in protests in the city center, explained Indianapolis police chief Randal Taylor. An agent was also injured.
Protests have now erupted in at least fifty cities, from New York to Los Angeles, from Florida to Washington state. Looting and fires have repeated. Nighttime curfews are in effect in a dozen urban centers, and in the states of Ohio and South Carolina. After yesterday’s fires, the Mayor of Los Angeles Garcetti ordered it, as Minneapolis, Atlanta, Denver, Portland, Cincinnati and Seattle had already done.
In Manhattan, protesters set fire to a police car, while in Brooklyn a police force ran over some people who had blocked him. The arrests are over 1,400 from Tuesday to today, and the National Guard has been activated in Minnesota, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Texas, in addition to the capital Washington, where it was deployed last night to protect the White House, after the residence lockdown presidential provocation by demonstrators on Friday. The surroundings of the White House have been the scene of violent clashes.
In this climate, the Pentagon ordered Fort Bragg paratroopers and Fort Drum soldiers to stand ready to deploy in four hours. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 prohibits the military from conducting public order missions within the United States unless the president proclaims a national emergency. However, they can provide logistical support, without carrying their weapons.
The massive intervention of the National Guard in Minneapolis, with launches of tear gas and charges against the demonstrators, seems to have curbed the looting and fires of recent days. Some protesters shared an attempt to block the most violent fringes, because they accuse them of having other agendas, and to compromise the effectiveness of the protests.
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The goal of those who sincerely regret the killing of George Floyd is to stop police abuse against black people, and to encourage economic and social reforms that will help the insertion of the African American community. However, this can be achieved through peaceful demonstrations, while the attacks of recent days frighten the citizens, ruining not only the image, but also the ability to affect the movement.