06:28 GMT22 January 2021
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    Black Lives Matter Protests Sweep Across Globe Following Death of George Floyd (136)

    The death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, in police custody in the US state of Minnesota has sparked major protests across the US and beyond.

    US President Donald Trump has accused the media of intentionally limiting the coverage of demonstrations in Seattle, where protesters have established CHAZ (the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone), now also referred to as the Capitol Hill Organised Protest (CHOP) zone.

    Mass protests against police brutality and racial discrimination have been ongoing in the US since the death of George Floyd, an African-American man, in police custody in the US state of Minnesota on May 25. Floyd died in hospital after Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis white police officer, pinned him to the ground with his knee for over eight minutes. Chauvin has been charged with second-degree and third-degree murder and manslaughter.

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    • 03:50

      Demonstration in Washington Marked 2 Weeks of Anti-Racism Protest Dispersal

      Demonstrators march up Lake City Way NE as Nathan Hale High School seniors join with others to protest against racial inequality in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd on their graduation day in Seattle, Washington, U.S. June 15, 2020

      Demonstration in Washington Marks 2 Weeks Since Anti-Racism Protest Dispersal

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A few hundred protesters have taken to the streets of Washington, DC, in continuation of a seemingly waning campaign against racial injustice and police brutality.
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    • 23:10

      Atlanta Mayor Says Signed Orders to Implement Reform of Police Use-of-Force Policies

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said during a press conference that she signed a series of administrative orders calling on the Atlanta Police Department (APD) to implement reforms on use-of-force policies.

      "I am signing a series of administrative orders today calling upon our Chief Operating Officer Joshua Williams to coordinate with the interim Chief of Police Rodney Bryant to immediately adopt and implement reforms of the standard operating procedures and work rules of APD concerning their use-of-force policies," Bottoms said on Monday evening.

      Bottoms said the order requires APD officers to use the amount of objectively reasonable force necessary to protect themselves, others, to affect an arrest or bring an incident under control when dealing with members of the community, suspects or detainees.

      The Atlanta mayor is also requiring officers to use de-escalation techniques to avoid or minimize the use of force.

      In addition, Bottoms said she is requiring reporting of uses of deadly force by police officers to the Citizens Review Board and is calling on officers to intervene when they see another officer using force that is beyond reasonable and report the incident.

    • 22:28

      Trump New Executive Order Will Create National Police Register, Boost Training - Official

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump will issue an executive order on Tuesday that calls for the establishment of a national police register and improvements in training and recruiting, senior administration officials told reporters.

      "President Trump will issue an Executive Order ...to create a National Police Register that will weed out bad cops," one senior administration official said on Monday.

      The order will also credentialize and standardize training and require recruiting from local communities, the official added.

    • 22:10

      Trump Says Rayshard Brooks' Death During Arrest by Atlanta Police 'Very Disturbing'

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump said that the death of African American man Rayshard Brooks during his arrest by Atlanta police on Friday was “very disturbing.”

      Police shot 27-year-old Brooks outside a Wendy's fast-food restaurant following a scuffle with police officers who were attempting to arrest him after he fell asleep in his car at the drive-through parking lot.

      "I thought it was a terrible situation... to me it was very disturbing," Trump said during remarks at the White House on Monday.

      The US president said he will have more to say about the incident on Tuesday.

    • 21:59

      Trump Says Discussed with AG Barr Possible Measures against Seattle Protesters

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump told reporters he discussed with Attorney General William Barr about specific measures that may be undertaken against activists who have occupied a section of downtown Seattle and established the so-called Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), unless local authorities “do the job.”

      “You have a governor who doesn’t do a damned thing about it, and you have a mayor that doesn’t know she is alive. If they don’t do the job, I will do the job. I have already spoken to the Attorney General about it,” Trump said on Monday in response to a question about the situation concerning CHAZ.

      Trump said that he can do “about ten different things, anyone of which will solve the problem quickly,” but refused to elaborate.

      Washington State Governor Jay Inslee said in a statement earlier that he hopes for a peaceful resolution of the situation in Seattle and promised to resist threats of military violence against the protesters coming from the White House.

    • 20:34

      Trump Says He Will Sign Executive Order on Police Reform Tuesday

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump told reporters on Monday afternoon that he will sign an executive order on police reform the following day.

      “We will be signing it tomorrow. And we will have a news conference at some point in the day. The overall goal is we want law and order and we want it done fairly, justly and we want it done safely... I think we are going to do a good job tomorrow", Trump said.

    • 20:14

      NYPD to Disband Anti-Crime Unit, Reassign Officers to Other Units

      Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced that the New York Police Department (NYPD) will disband its anti-crime unit, reassigning "roughly 600 people citywide" to other units, including the Detective Bureau, Neighbourhood Policing and more.

    • 20:11

      US House Likely to Pass Police Reform Bill Next Week - Black Caucus Leader

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US House of Representatives will likely vote on and pass a bill next week to reform police departments in the United States, Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass said on Monday.

      “This bill will be passed out of committee on Wednesday: all of it. The next week we will pass it off the floor", Bass said.

      The bill would increase data transparency changes to police practices and training, ban the use of chokeholds, mandate body cameras, restrict use of lethal force and set up independent structures to investigate allegations of police brutality while setting up a national database of identifying all officers recorded as using excessive force.

      Republican Senator Tim Scott, the only African-American currently sitting in the US Senate, will introduce a parallel bill into the upper chamber of Congress on Tuesday, Bass said.

    • 17:17

      Mayor of Atlanta Says Will Issue Administrative Orders to Speed Up Police Reform in City

    • 16:54

      Statue Vandalism 'Alarm Bell' for Open Public Debate – Cultural Heritage Movement

      Acts of vandalism against monuments by anti-racism protesters in various parts of the world following the killing of African American man George Floyd by US police show a long overdue need for an open and civilized public debate about placing certain pages of history in the right context, the secretary-general of Europa Nostra, a leading pan-European movement to protect cultural and natural heritage, has told Sputnik.

      "It is very sad that we have come to this point, we at Europa Nostra can never express solidarity with violence, but at the moment we can only discuss where do we go from now on. This is like an alarm bell. It’s a very worrying incidence that has happened and it means that there is an urgent need to confront and to have in a civilized and proper way a discussion on what to do with the monuments of that type," Sneska Quaedvlieg-Mihailovic, the secretary-general of Europa Nostra, said.

      The activist said that anger had transformed the anti-racism movement into violent acts against specific statues — those glorifying personalities who played a role in the slave trade and slavery.

      In the United States, the statues of Confederate General Williams Wickham and Confederate President Jefferson Davis were toppled in a public park in Richmond, the former capital of the Confederacy.

      Statues of Christopher Columbus were also toppled across the country as protesters recalled his treatment of the Indigenous communities during the colonization of the Americas.

      "It is a historical moment because all of us, not just the United States, but also the rest of the world, we are now urged to somehow reconsider whether we have all done enough and whether we are doing enough in our own organization, in our own lives to open a proper and civilized discussion on the contested history and contested heritage. We have that all over the world including in Europe," Quaedvlieg-Mihailovic said.

      In Belgium, the statue of Leopold II was removed in Antwerp after it was burned and splashed with paint in protest of his role in the colonization of what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

      In the United Kingdom, Black Lives Matter activists defaced the Cenotaph war memorial and a statue of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill in London. In Bristol, a statue of 18th-century slave trader Edward Colston was torn down and thrown into the harbor by protesters.

      "Of course, we in Europa Nostra can never express solidarity with the violent aspects of any civic movement, whether it is violence to people or whether it is violence to objects or monuments. But at the same time, we need to have some understanding of how it is possible that we have come to the 21st century and still so many of these type of stories have not been properly discussed in the local authorities, in the bodies that are there [for it], be it historians or schools or local authorities. Obviously, far too little was done," Quaedvlieg-Mihailovic said.

      Following the acts of vandalism in London, Mayor Sadiq Khan announced that the Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm would review all monuments in the UK capital to assess whether they reflect the city’s diversity.

      As for the situation in Bristol, on June 10, its Mayor Marvin Rees said the statue of Edward Colston would be retrieved from the harbor and exhibited in one of the city's museums.

      "I think it was a very good decision of the mayor of Bristol who said that they would take the statue out of the water and they would put it in the museum with the necessary interpretation and telling the story, because by destroying the statue you don’t destroy the fact that that person lived, did what was done and that is the part of the history of the country, of the city and of mankind," Quaedvlieg-Mihailovic said.

      The only civilized way to deal with the cultural heritage of the controversial periods of history is to place the monuments in museums and in the right context, with full explanations presenting all sides, and to learn what happened and take it as a lesson for modern society, the secretary-general believes.

      "Of course this is opening a very large conversation because there are really many statues of many important people, it’s difficult to judge their behaviour with standards that we have now in the 21st century. At those times, their behaviour was not considered illegal. That is why we have the development of the humankind. We have come to the point that now it is illegal. We need to put their stories and their heritage in the right context," Quaedvlieg-Mihailovic said.

      The secretary-general emphasized the need to tell the full story, saying, however, that it is not something that can be done overnight.

      "It requires many people to be involved and it requires honesty on all sides," she added.

      The killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in late May sparked a wave of protests against police brutality and institutionalized racism, which has now spread to all 50 US states and numerous countries worldwide.

      On Sunday, anti-racism protesters in Milan vandalized the statue of Indro Montanelli, a famous Italian journalist of the Corriere Della Sera newspaper and founder of Il Giornale daily, defacing it with red paint and writing the words "racist, rapist" on its base. Montanelli is known to have purchased a 12-year-old Eritrean girl as his wife when he served in the Second Italo-Ethiopian War in the 1930s. The act is the most recent case involving the vandalism of statues of historical figures who were engaged in slavery or racist activities that are unacceptable if judged by the norms of the modern world.

    • 16:45

      Over 8,000 Residents Sign Petition to Remove Abraham Lincoln Statue in Boston

      More than 8,000 people have signed a petition calling for the removal of a statue in the center of Boston depicting former US President Abraham Lincoln standing over a shackled black slave.

      “It's supposed to represent freedom, but instead it represents us still beneath someone else. I would always ask myself ‘If he's free why is he still on his knees?’ No kid should have to ask themselves that question anymore,” Torry Bullock, a local artist who initiated the petition, said.

      As of Monday morning, the petition received 8,090 signatures and is close to to fulfilling the initial goal of reaching 1,000 signatures.

      The statue, formally referred to as Emancipation Memorial, is supposed to celebrate the abolition of slavery under Lincoln’s leadership during the US Civil War.

      Bullock told local media that he does not wants the statue to be vandalized, destroyed and melted, but placed in a warehouse.

      The initiative has won the support of Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, who said that he is “willing to engage in a dialogue with the community” about the future of the statue.

      A wave of protests against racism and police brutality have swept across the United States and in numerous countries in the world after the death of African American man George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.

      During the ongoing protests, a number of statues of slave owners and military leaders, but also of Western adventurers, kings, and other controversial figures have been taken down or defaced by protesters.

    • 15:44

      New York Governor Cuomo Says He Will Sign Additional Laws on Police Reform

    • 15:19

      Barcelona Mayor Believes Columbus Monument Must Be Contextualized, Not Removed

      Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau believes the city’s iconic monument to Christopher Columbus should not be removed but instead contextualized as discussions of statues to controversial figures sweep the world.

      The mayor was speaking as a guest at the RAC-1 radio station in response to a regional parliamentary proposal, forwarded by an En Comu Podum coalition member, to remove the statue.

      “The Columbus Monument - it is part of the memory of the city of Barcelona. All the experts in the field of democratic memory that we have consulted find it more interesting to leave the statue as criticism and for an explanation,” Colau said in a radio broadcast.

      Christopher Columbus statues have become the center of the wave of anti-racism sentiment that has gripped many countries after the killing of African-American George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police last month. Protesters and Black Lives Matter movement supporters have torn down or defaced statues to slave owners, confederate figures, colonialists and others.

      Initially revered as an intrepid explorer, Columbus has become, in the popular consciousness, a harbinger of the genocide against indigenous people and the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

      The statue to the Italian explorer sits atop a 60-meter tall obelisk that is adorned with religious and historical symbolism. Columbus points to the West. The monument, just outside the city’s port, serves as a focal point in the city.

    • 14:19

      Protesters Tear Down Thomas Jefferson Statue in US' Portland - Photo, Video

      Protesters Tear Down Thomas Jefferson Statue in US' Portland - Photo, Video

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A statue of US Founding Father Thomas Jefferson has been torn down outside a high school named after him in the state of Oregon’s largest city of Portland, The Oregonian reported.
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    • 14:08

      US Supreme Court Rules That Employer Who Fires LGBT Worker For Being Gay, Transgender Violates Federal Employment Law

    • 05:55

      UK Police Federation Chairman Urges Ban on BLM Protests Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

      A masked protester walks as British police officers in riot gear escort him and others away in central London, as groups gather to counter-protest against a Black Lives Matter demonstration, Saturday, June 13, 2020.

      UK Police Federation Chairman Urges Ban on BLM Protests Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

      A wave of protests against racial inequality has swept through the United Kingdom in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an African American man, in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis on 25 May.
      Read more
    • 05:53

      No to Distortion of History: Boris Johnson Vows to Fight All Attempts to Remove Churchill Statue

      A council employee cleans graffiti from the statue of Winston Churchill at Parliament Square, in the aftermath of protests against the death of George Floyd who died in police custody in Minneapolis, London, Britain, June 8, 2020.

      No to Distortion of History: Boris Johnson Vows to Fight All Attempts to Remove Churchill Statue

      Amid demonstrations in the UK in solidarity with anti-police brutality and anti-racism protests sweeping America after the death of black man George Floyd in police custody, the statue of Winston Churchill and the Cenotaph in Parliament Square were boxed up to protect them from being vandalised further.
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    • 05:19

      Donald Trump Slams Democrats Support for Defunding, Abolishing Police Departments as Crazy

    Live Updates: Trump Says Rayshard Brooks' Death During Arrest by Atlanta Police 'Very Disturbing'
    Black Lives Matter Protests Sweep Across Globe Following Death of George Floyd (136)
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