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Curfews Imposed and National Guard Deployed to Bring Order to Nationwide Protests. Spoiler Alert: It Didn’t Work

Protesters are detained by police before being arrested for a curfew violation in the Hollywood area while peacefully demonstrating over George Floyd’s death on June 1, 2020, in Los Angeles.
Protesters are detained by police before being arrested for a curfew violation in the Hollywood area while peacefully demonstrating over George Floyd’s death on June 1, 2020, in Los Angeles.
Photo: Mario Tama (Getty Images)

Nationwide protests calling for the valuing of black lives have filled our news feeds with stories of chaos and civil unrest as rioting and clashes between protesters and law enforcement continue. Now, dozens of cities across the country have imposed curfews and the National Guard has been deployed in over a dozen states and—wouldn’t you know it—clashes between protesters and law enforcement have continued to escalate.

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According to CNN, at least 40 cities have implemented curfews amid several days of protests and the National Guard has been put to the task of helping to enforce the law in 15 states and Washington, D.C. But as we saw over the weekend—when cops were firing paint canisters at residents on their own porch, driving an SUV into crowds of protesters and pepper-spraying people for seemingly no reason whatsoever—telling people when to go home and putting more officers on the street is no recipe for peace.

In Los Angeles, a black family flagged down police officers while trying to protect a store from being looted, only to have cops immediately rush to handcuff them. In a video taken by a bystander who was trying to explain that the officers were detaining the wrong people, an officer can be heard saying, “I don’t care about them,” referring to the innocent black people who were being put in cuffs after seeking their help.

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The Los Angeles Times reports that a day of mostly peaceful protests ended with police arresting looters in areas around the city.

In Philadelphia, about an hour before the city’s 6 p.m. curfew was set to start, Officers launched tear gas at thousands of protestors on the Vine Street Expressway, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The incident resulted in people fleeing, screaming and trying to escape the scene but being trapped. Many of the protesters are outraged by the actions of police because they say the protest was peaceful.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that Oakland police in full riot gear went after a large crowd of “mostly teenagers and young people” who had gathered and walked onto a freeway in Walnut Creek on Monday. According to the report, officers ordered the crowd to disperse then almost immediately chased after protesters with dogs and fired on them with tear gas and rubber bullets.

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This all happened during a peaceful demonstration where around 15,000 people marched through the streets of Oakland.

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Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports clashes between police and protesters in New York, Las Vegas and St. Louis have resulted in officers being injured. These reports include multiple N.Y. officers sustaining serious injuries after being plowed into by cars during protests, an officer being shot on the Las Vegas Strip, officers being hit with rocks and fireworks in Seattle, and, according to the police chief in St. Louis, “some coward fired shots at officers and now we have four in the hospital.”

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

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DISCUSSION

Trump is seriously, hundred percent, going full on after James Buchanan’s title of literally the worst president ever.