PROTESTERS BESIEGE WHITE HOUSE OVER GEORGE FLOYD’S DEATH
Shouting “Black Lives Matter” and “I can’t breathe,” hundreds of people converged on the White House for a second straight day Saturday (Sunday, May 31, 2020 in Manila) to protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and President Donald Trump’s response, who earlier belittled the protesters and pledged to “stop mob violence.”
“I stand before you as a friend and ally to every American seeking justice and peace, and I stand before you in firm opposition to anyone exploiting this tragedy to loot, rob, attack and menace,” Trump said in Florida, as quoted by Ashraf Khalil, Kevin Freking and Michael Balsamo in a story written for the Associated Press (AP).
At Lafayette Park, across from the White House, three lines of barricades separated protesters from a line of police officers in riot gear.
Speaking over a megaphone, Cameron McCall said, “We don’t need violence. All we need are our voices.” While some protesters stayed near the White House, others marched through the streets chanting, “No justice and no peace.” and “Say his name: George Floyd.” The mood was angry but decidedly non-violent with several speakers imploring marchers to remain peaceful. Earlier, though, there were skirmishes between protesters and Secret Service officers on the edge of Lafayette Square, according to a reporter for radio station WTOP. Pepper spray was used to disperse one group of protesters, the station reported.