Anti-racism marches held across US, Europe, Asia
Tens of thousands of people marched in Washington DC in what was described as the city’s largest yet demonstration against institutional racism in the wake of the custodial death of African-American George Floyd.
They walked to the White House, National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol, singing and chanting slogans — “No justice, no peace”, “Black lives matter” and “Defund the police”. Similar weekend protests were held in New York, Los Angeles, Detroit and other places, as well as in many cities globally.
President Donald Trump, who is treating the protests as partisan and aimed at him, sought to underplay them. “Much smaller crowd in DC than anticipated,” he tweeted. “National Guard, Secret Service, and DC Police have been doing a fantastic job. Thank you!”
Reports quoting US officials said on Sunday that Trump had wanted to call in 10,000 active duty troops, not the reservists of the National Guards now in DC and other cities. But he was persuaded against it by his top officials at a reportedly “contentious” meeting.
A senior aide of the president’s re-election campaign, Mercedes Schlapp, has apologised for retweeting a video of a chainsaw wielding man running after protestors shouting racial slurs.
With protests increasingly peaceful, law enforcement presence is being wound down across the country. National Guards are expected to begin leaving DC on Monday, as Trump confirmed in a tweet, with a warning that they can “quickly return”.
Officials in New York city, which had another day of relative peace, decided to lift the curfew. Two police officers of Buffalo, New York state, were charged earlier for shoving an elderly man to the ground during protests, videos of which have gone viral triggering outrage . In Richmond, capital of Virginia state, a small group of protesters pulled down a statue of Confederate general Williams Carter Wickham.
Around the world, protesters echoed the rage of American demonstrators. Dozens of people protested in front of the US consulate in Hong Kong on Sunday.
In Bristol, England, protesters venting their anger at the country’s colonial history by toppling a statue of a 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston. In London people defying official warnings not to gather lay down outside the US embassy. Police said 14 officers were hurt on Saturday during clashes with protesters in London. In the French port city of Marseille, police fired tear gas and pepper spray during clashes with protesters whose rally drew more than 2,000 people.
Following the re-outbreak of Covid-19 and the rapid surge in the number of daily Covid infections over the past few weeks, Saudi Arabia has banned its citizens from traveling to sixteen countries, including India. The sixteen countries where the citizens of Saudi Arabia are banned to travel apart from India include Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Indonesia, Vietnam, Armenia, Belarus, and Venezuela, reported Gulf News.
Two days after two Pakistani-origin Spanish sisters were severely tortured and shot dead in the Gujrat district of Punjab province, police arrested six men from the same family on Sunday. Arooj Abbas, 21, and Aneesa Abbas, 23, were allegedly killed for refusing to bring their husbands — cousins from forced marriages — to Spain. News agency PTI reported that the sisters were found dead in their house.
Sri Lanka prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Sunday thanked Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin, as well as the people of India, after a fresh consignment, containing food items and milk, reached the crisis-hit country after being flagged off from Chennai, on May 18. The latest consignment was flagged by Tamil Nadu CM Stalin. India's southern state and the neighbouring country are only separated by the Palk Strait.
The US-led Indo-Pacific strategy is a ploy to create divisions and incite confrontation in the region, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said on Sunday, adding that the plan is bound to fail. “Facts will prove that the so-called Indo-Pacific strategy is in essence a strategy to create division, to incite confrontation and to undermine peace,” Wang said.
Days after the Taliban's latest order, women presenters on Afghanistan's top news channels went on air on Sunday with their faces covered. On Saturday, many of the news anchors had reportedly defied the diktat to conceal their appearance on TV but their employers had come under pressure. The Taliban's latest order was among the slew of restrictions, mostly targeting the rights of women and girls, they imposed since seizing powers of Afghanistan last year.