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The ‘I can’t breathe’ protests target police brutality and injustice

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The protests in the wake of the killing of black American citizen George Floyd by a white police officer have spread way beyond the city of Minneapolis where it happened. Protesters have taken to the streets in cities across the US.

Citizens burnt down the precinct police station in Minneapolis and it was announced that the four officers involved in the incident had been dismissed. It took some time, however, for the officer directly responsible for the murder to be charged.

This sort of thing has happened many times before, of course, and the police officer is usually the villain, and an ordinary citizen is the victim. The anger of the people must be able to distinguish between the rights of the state and the rights of the citizens. They determine who the terrorist is and who the victim is, and they wield people power in defence of their rights. The “I can’t breathe” protests — they were the words Floyd uttered to the police officer asphyxiating him with his knee— target police brutality and injustice.

The George Floyd protests are not only about this latest crime, though, but also racism institutionalised at state and federal level, especially the law enforcement agencies. Black citizens have obtained legal and civil rights in America only over the past half century or so, but discrimination persists. The spirit of Malcolm X and Dr Martin Luther King still flies over the demonstrators.

READ: It is time for the US to end its deadly exchange programmes with Israel

This latest crime,........

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