During Saturday’s “large demonstration” in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, a crowd set construction trailers on fire, and damaged cars and businesses before making its way toward Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct, police said Wednesday evening.https://www.youtube.com/embed/undefined
But as the crowd headed toward the precinct shortly before 4:30 p.m., a van followed and parked in front of the police building. It was facing the wrong direction in a traffic lane, and later abandoned, officials said.
“At about the same time explosions occurred outside the precinct,” the press release states. “Individuals in the crowd threw explosives at officers. One explosion occurred along the north wall of the precinct (on Pine Street), which blew a hole in the wall of the building.”https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=true&id=1288626090823397376&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.foxnews.com%2Fus%2Fseattle-explosives-baseball-bats-reportedly-handed-out-at-protests&siteScreenName=foxnews&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px
A witness told police people had surrounded the van earlier in the day, while its back doors were open, to show “improvised shields, gas masks, baseball bats and a large assortment of pyrotechnic explosives inside the van,” officials said.
helmets, shin guards and additional types of body armor
nextImage 1 of 7Photo shows evidence recovered during Seattle Police Department search of van abandoned at demonstration on June 25, 2020 (Seattle Police Department).
On Wednesday, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan told reporters police have “an obligation to disperse a crowd when dangers to public safety like explosives, fires, individuals intent on causing harm” are present, according to local affiliate Q13 Fox Seattle.
“I think what we saw in our city last week in three separate protests, that there were individuals who were intent on causing harm. And the items seized from this van show exactly what they were planning, saw the results on our street,” Durkan reportedly said.
Police arrested at least 45 people as a result of Saturday’s demonstrations and 59 officers were hurt, KOMO News reported.
Seattle PD also released photographs and videos of the contraband, as well as the damage apparently caused by the explosive.
The department is still investigating its findings.
You’ve seen the videos: armored police shooting objects into crowds in Portland, teargassing the city’s mayor and beating protesters who stand in the way of their tactical advances. But why are federal officers in Portland, and have they fueled violence as critics and city officials claim?
How did Portland become the epicenter of protests against police violence?
Portland had seen nearly 40 consecutive nights of protests against police violence and systemic racism after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, but city officials say the nightly demonstrations were dwindling when the Department of Homeland Security decided on July 4 to increase its presence around Portland’s federal courthouse.
On the night of July 3, a small group of people shattered a glass door at the federal building, which is within a block of both the Multnomah County Justice Center — home to a local jail — and a city police precinct, both of which had been earlier focuses of anti-police violence protests. Prosecutors later accused the group of attempting to set a fire.
The incident prompted the Department of Homeland Security to act on an executive order issued a week earlier by President Trump, authorizing the agency to prioritize enforcement against the “vandalism of government property.” In the weeks since, the federal presence — dubbed “Operation Diligent Valor” — has ballooned to include at least 114 federal officers not usually stationed at the courthouse.
As local officials decried the federal government’s dramatic response to vandalism, blaming it for reigniting protests, dozens have been arrested at the nightly demonstrations, and at least one man claims to have been pulled by unidentified federal agents into an unmarked minivan while walking blocks away. He said he was released without charges.
Dozens more protesters, journalists and federal agents have been injured — one protester holding a stereo over his head suffered a fractured skull after being shot by a U.S. Marshal in the head with a so-called less than lethal projectiles. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was among those tear-gassed, and in a viral video, Christopher David, a 53-year-old Navy veteran, was shown being beaten by federal officers. In court documents, federal officials said at least 28 officers have been injured.
Are Portland police and federal officers working together?
The Portland City Council on July 23 voted to bar city police from working with federal law enforcement. They had previously coordinated responses to the protests.
Who are the federal police stationed at the Portland courthouse?
Though courthouse protection is typically the purview of the Federal Protective Service and the U.S. Marshals, “Operation Diligent Valor” includes agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), according to a federal court declaration by Gabriel Russell, who is commanding the operation. The group includes members of an elite unit called the Border Patrol Tactical Unit, according to officials.
Why is Border Patrol allowed to patrol a Portland courthouse?
Portland, like most of the United States’ major cities, falls within the so-called “100-mile zone” that defines CBP’s jurisdiction, according to the University of Illinois Springfield professor Deborah Anthony, who has studied the agency’s expanding operations in that corridor. She said CBP is free to operate within 100 miles of any border or coastline, a swath of land that’s home to roughly two-thirds of the country’s population.
“It’s based on a statute from the 1940s that says border agents can search the border for aliens within a reasonable distance of the border or an external boundary. In 1953, a (Department of Justice) regulation determined that that was a hundred miles. Nobody seems to really know why they came up with a hundred miles, but that’s essentially been the rule ever since,” Anthony said.
At the time there were about 1,000 border agents nationwide, compared with roughly 21,000 today.
Can they really detain anyone inside the 100-mile zone?
No, Anthony said. “What they are supposed to be doing within that 100 miles is very limited. The charge of customs and border protection is facilitating trade customs and immigration law. And so they really are not supposed to be doing other types of operations, crime control, things like that, even within the 100 miles.”
She said the agency’s involvement in an operation like “Operation Diligent Valor” in Portland is unusual. “It’s the first I’m aware of because as far as I’m aware, it has nothing to do with immigration.”
Why is the attorney general sending federal officials to Chicago, Kansas City and Albuquerque?
While President Trump appeared to have conflated the two operations on July 20, they are not exactly the same. His executive order and the Portland operation are ultimately focused on enforcement of federal law, on federal property. Attorney General William Barr’s July 22 announcement pertained to officials with the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, DEA, and ATF potentially assisting local police in the enforcement of local laws, with an effort toward curbing crime in those cities.
Only if they’re invited, according to Ohio State University law professor Peter Shane. “There’s no kind of overarching statutory authority for federal agencies, in general, to send federal officers to assist in local law enforcement,” Shane said. “If there is a request for federal help, the federal government can provide that help, but there has to be a request.”
Have the cities requested federal help?
No, the mayors of all three cities were among 14 to sign a letter condemning Homeland Security’s role in Portland, and the mayors of Albuquerque and Kansas City have explicitly said they are not asking for federal cooperation in local law enforcement. The U.S. Attorneys in both cities have said federal agents will be focused on violent federal crimes. Chicago’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, said federal agents will be allowed to “work in partnership” with Chicago detectives investigating gun homicides.
A transport truck driver has avoided criminal prosecution in connection with the death of animal advocate Regan Russell. Regan was violently run over and killed last month by a truck taking pigs to slaughter outside Fearmans Pork slaughterhouse in Burlington, Ontario.
Provincial charges are considered far less serious than criminal charges. The provincial offence of careless driving causing death carries with it a penalty of $2,000 to $50,000 and up to two years in jail, and no criminal record. A comparable criminal offence, such as dangerous driving causing death, would be punishable by large fines and up to 14 years in prison, plus a criminal record.
Regan Russell was a member of the Animal Save Movement, and was at the slaughterhouse on the day she was killed to document the condition of pigs trucked to slaughter in sweltering heat, and to help provide water to them. She was also there in protest of Bill 156, dangerous so-called “ag gag” legislation <https://www.animaljustice.ca/media-releases/ontario-passes-ag-gag-law-to-co ver-up-animal-abuse-on-farms> passed two days earlier by the provincial government. Bill 156 aims to cover up animal cruelty in the farming industry, and interferes with the Charter-protected rights of citizens and journalists to protest and document animal abuse at farms, slaughterhouses, and in transport. Animal Justice intends to <https://www.animaljustice.ca/blog/animal-justice-to-continue-the-fight-agai nst-bill-156-in-court> challenge the constitutionality of Bill 156 in court.
Although the police did not lay criminal charges against the trucker, they rarely extend this leniency to animal advocates. Law enforcement authorities regularly give preferential, slap-on-the-wrist treatment to industries responsible for animal suffering, while pursuing serious criminal prosecutions against people who expose and take action to stop animal cruelty.
For instance, advocates have gathered extensive footage depicting illegal pig suffering in transport trucks outside Fearmans Pork, including pigs suffering from heat exhaustion and frostbite, and pigs arriving injured, dead, or dying. Federal authorities generally refuse to prosecute Fearmans or truckers for this suffering. Yet in 2015, the Halton Police charged Animal Save Movement founder Anita Krajnc with criminal mischief for giving water to thirsty pigs trapped inside a truck outside Fearmans Slaughterhouse on a sweltering day. She was <https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/judge-acquits-woman-in-pigs-w ater-case/article34893404/> acquitted following a much-publicized trial.
Police also regularly lay trumped-up criminal charges against animal advocates for acts that are not a criminal offence, such as going onto private property to expose hidden animal suffering on meat and fur farms. But law enforcement often goes easy on farmers responsible for abuse. Farms and slaughterhouses caught on hidden camera viciously abusing animals have never faced a single Criminal Code charge for animal cruelty in Ontario. Authorities generally don’t bother to prosecute at all, even when there is clear video evidence. On the rare occasions when charges are laid, they are always less serious provincial charges.
Regan Russell’s family is also <https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/regan-russell-1.5653593> calling for a coroner’s inquest into her brutal death. A coroner’s inquest is typically used to uncover broader, systemic issues responsible for a death. In the case of Fearmans Pork, the slaughterhouse had for years refused to negotiate a safety agreement with the Animal Save Movement to allow for safe and peaceful protests, and truckers who created safety risks had never been prosecuted.
A transport truck driver has avoided criminal prosecution in connection with the death of animal advocate Regan Russell. Regan was violently run over and killed last month by a truck taking pigs to slaughter outside Fearmans Pork slaughterhouse in Burlington, Ontario. The Halton Police announced that they laid one provincial Highway Traffic Act charge against.
The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone or CHAZ is now being called CHOP by protesters. (KOMO News)
SEATTLE – Gaining national attention with a growing audience, what was once known as the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” has been rebranded and renamed – “Capitol Hill Organized Protest.”
Without a leader and with more voices chiming in, some of the protesters that have been pushing for police reform and advocating for Black Lives Matter at the now-abandoned East Precinct say it’s a move to get the movement back on track.
“That name, “CHAZ,” we didn’t actually come up with,” said protester Maurice Cola.
“We’re not sure if it was detractors or people trying to push a false narrative, but they definitely came in with that name, came with the signs and they had nothing to do with our movement so far.”
Before “CHAZ” was born, it was just one week ago when protesters and police faced off at 11th and E. Pine with the crowd later being dispersed through the use of flash bangs and pepper spray. Seattle Police say some protesters were throwing things like rocks, bottles and incendiary devices at officers.
Now “CHOP,” Cola says what’s happening on Capitol Hill was never about seceding from the United States. He also says Facebook pages popping up under the name “CHAZ” had been done without protesters knowing.
CHAZ changes name to CHOP
KOMO News Video – Cole Miller
In the nearly week it’s been around, intrigue and crowds continue to grow, many coming out to see it for themselves. From a co-op that’s been getting larger to people now selling t-shirts, Cola and others have expressed concern that the message is getting drowned out.
“We’re noticing a lot of tourists coming in and some of the narratives are getting lost with all the extra added energy,” said Cola. “We’re trying to keep the focus. This is not Coachella.”
The biggest question remains is – how long will this go on? At this point, it’s anyone’s guess. Cola says talks with the city haven’t amounted to much.
What once read “Welcome to CHAZ” has been tweaked to read “CHOP.” The guy who reworked this welcome tells me it’s a rebrand to “re-centralize the focus back to the #BlackLivesMatter movement” #KOMONews
Looks like the stage is nearly set for some live music tonight at #CHOP. At 11, hear from one of the protesters about that name change and his take on how talks have gone with the city about what comes next #KOMONews
“We’ve definitely had communication but as far as actual progress, no,” Cola said. “The conditions of them actually being supportive, no. They’re allies with the national narrative but they’re not friends on the front.”
Throughout Saturday, the gathering remained peaceful.
As protesters continue to gather outside of the East Precinct in what’s now being called the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” there’s concern among some who have visited that the message behind Black Lives Matter has been hijacked. (Photo: KOMO News)
SEATTLE — As protesters continue to gather outside of the East Precinct in what’s now being called the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone,” there’s concern among some who have visited that the message behind Black Lives Matter has been hijacked.
The African American Community Advisory Council, which works with Seattle Police to facilitate discussion with officers and those they serve, came out to “CHAZ” Thursday evening in support of Chief Carmen Best. Multiple women spoke from the group, saying African Americans helped to build the precinct.
“Black lives do matter but there are also black lives that are police lives,” one of the woman said at the intersection of 12th and E Pine. “They feel the same way that you do.”
Throughout their attempts to convey their opinion to the crowd, they were met with boos and others grabbing microphones, talking over them.
“You guys need to sit down and have a conversation with the Seattle Police Department. They want to talk to you.”
Those women also stated that protest’s core belief has been lost.
“The thing is, you have hijacked this! You have taken the meaning away!”
Tempers flared for a few minutes before things came to an end.
“Not everybody is going to have the same opinion!”
Cole Miller | Differing opinions at CHAZ
KOMO News spoke with the AACAC Chair, Victoria Beach, afterwards.
“We support our chief of police,” said Beach. “We feel she’s been thrown under the bus. It was a cowardly move for the mayor to open up that street to all of the mayhem.”
Beach compared what she’s seen at “CHAZ” to that of a festival, name dropping Burning Man, rather than a movement aimed for police reform.
“We’re going to keep our voices loud and clear. We’re going to be heard,” said Beach. “How are we going to be heard if that’s happening? How are we going to come to the table and talk?”
Not long after they spoke, a rolling garage door at the East Precinct rolled up and nearly two dozen officers on bikes pedaled out. They were met by chants and expletives from protesters. The remaining officers inside eventually closed the door and protesters then went to the corner of 12th and E Pike to setup an enhanced barricade to keep them out.
For much of the night, the entirety of the gathering remained peaceful.
KOMO News reached out to Seattle Police to see why those officers were at the precinct but we have not heard back.
The portion of downtown Seattle that the protesters are now occupying.
“It can’t continue like that,” Jim Fuda, a law enforcement expert and the director of law enforcement services for Crime Stoppers – which works with SPD – told Komo news.
“Some action is going to have to be taken. Is there federal laws broken? Does the FBI need to come in? But at some point, arrests and these people are going to have to be removed, if they don’t move.”
A volunteer works security at an entrance to the so-called “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” on June 10, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. The zone includes the blocks surrounding the Seattle Police Departments East Precinct, which was the site of violent clashes with Black Lives Matter protesters, who have continued to demonstrate in the wake of George Floyd’s death. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
Photos of the area show protesters have remained peaceful – pitching tents, painting, watching outdoor movies and holding gatherings with music and speeches – but police have also said they have received numerous complaints about armed guards surrounding the perimeter and asking residents who live in the area to show ID.
Police have also alluded to the potential extortion of local businesses and citizens.
Despite concessions by the city, including a 30-day ban by Mayor Jenny Durkan on officers deploying tear gas to disperse large crowds, as well as police officers shuttering the Third Precinct and retreating from the area, protesters have not shown signs of allowing police back in.
People sit in Cal Anderson Park in the so-called “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” on June 10, 2020 in Seattle, Wash. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
“Where are the rest of the citizens and their need for service?” Fuda said, pointing to the fact that police have limited their activity completely and are only responding to 911 calls.
“We lost a precinct, now, what’s next? Are we going to lose another precinct? The city council has removed our ability to have less lethal ammunition for us to properly protect those facilities and protect ourselves,” Solan said.
A female police officer was injured when protesters hurled projectiles and flares at her horse which bolted and sent her into a traffic light, amid chaotic scenes at the Black Lives Matter protest last night.
Footage shows the demonstration on Whitehall, central London turning violent as protestors bombard mounted officers with missile – and even Boris bikes – after hours of peaceful rallies drew to a close.
Through piecing together pictures, bystanders’ videos and eye-witness accounts at the scene, this how the dramatic situation unfolded.
A female police officer was injured after her horse slammed her into a traffic light, sending its rider flying to the ground after being spooked by projectiles thrown by protestors
IN FULL: Police knocked off horse during BLM demonstration
Shocking footage show a horse on Whitehall in a state of panic after being hit with missiles such as glass bottles and flares thrown by protestors.
The horse’s female rider struggles to stay in control as she rides the animal down the street charging protestors.
But within seconds the horse slams into a traffic light, sending its rider flying to the ground amid shocked gasps from onlookers.
The runaway police horse then turns back on itself, slamming a demonstrator to the ground as it attempts to flee the scene
Riderless horse hits protestor
The now-riderless horse continues to look to escape the crowds, scattering protestors as they attempt to get out of its path.
But then, after violently changing direction, the animal runs directly into a demonstrator, knocking them straight to the ground.
Another bystander then captures the horse running up Whitehall before turning off down Horse Guards Avenue, and eventually making its own way to its stables.
The injured officer is seen being pulled off the street by two other officers and a protestor. Met Police have confirmed she is recovering in hospital
Police officer falls off horse at BLM protest in London
Female officer is hospitalised
In front of Downing Street, two officers and a demonstrator are seen dragging the fallen horse rider out of the street. She is believed to have been knocked unconscious in the fall.
Met Police said last night: ‘The officer is currently in hospital, receiving treatment for her injuries which are not life threatening.
‘The officer fell from her horse and we are examining the full circumstances of what took place.’
The Metropolitan Police told MailOnline that they are continuing to investigation the cause of the incident.
Demonstrators were caught launching bicycles at police horses during violent scenes on Whitehall, central London on Saturday
Protestor hurls bike at horse
Amid an increasingly tense backdrop, protestors continue to throw projectiles at mounted police officers.
A series of photos captures a masked protester wearing a dark blue overcoat and black gloves picking up a Boris bike in front of the Foreign Office.
He then deliberately hurtles the bicycle straight in to the path of a group of police horses.
Witnesses reported another two incidents where bikes were thrown towards horses at around the same time.
One masked man was seen purposefully rolling a Boris bike straight into the path of a mounted horse. Others were seen on social media throwing projectiles such as water bottles at riot police
The bike hits one of the horses on its right side before falling over, causing the horse to rear up as its rider tries to bring it under control.
There are several reports that missiles, possibly a flare, also hit officers on horseback. One bystander said: ‘One flare was an inch from my head.
‘It went right past me and hit the officer’s shield. A bike was thrown at the horse.’
A police horse, believed to have a female rider, bolts after being hit with a bicycle. The horse quickly turns and makes its way down Whitehall as terrified crowds scatter to get out of the way
Terrified horse bolts
More photos show what appears to be a second horse, in front of strewn Boris bikes, standing on its hind legs before it bolts following the incident.
The Met Police confirmed tonight while they are still investigating what happened, no animals were injured in the protests.
Thousands of protestors took to the streets of London today to protest against police brutality, following the death of US citizen George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin.
Protestors congregated in Parliament Square and Downing Street before moving across the other locations in the Capital including Battersea and Victoria.
The scenes on Saturday are the latest in a string of protests to have taken place throughout the week in London.
The officer (pictured) lay motionless on the floor following the incident near Downing Street on Saturday afternoon
The officer was moved to the pavement (pictured) after he collided with a traffic light whilst moving at high-speed on the horse
Police horse collides with woman during BLM demonstration
The demonstrations occurred despite please from Government ministers, including Home Secretary Priti Patel and Health Secretary Matt Hancock, to not break lockdown regulations and attend the protests.
Some protestors were seen wearing face masks and other means of protective equipment.
Elsewhere in London, popular boxer Anthony Joshua attended a Black Lives Matter demonstration in his hometown of Watford.
The heavyweight boxing champion made a passionate speech calling for the need to ‘speak out in peaceful demonstrations’ and not to protest with ‘selfish motives and turning it into rioting and looting’.
There have also been protests in major UK cities such as Manchester, Cardiff, Sheffield and Newcastle.
CINCINNATI, Ohio (WJW) — An Ohio animal hospital is looking to help horses that were injured during the police violence protests this weekend.
Demonstrators across the nation took to the streets in response to the death of George Floyd. He died Monday while in Minneapolis police custody.
The Animal Eye Institute, located in Cincinnati, is offering to treat police force horses that received eye injuries during the protests.
Our sister station in Columbus, WCMH, shared video on Twitter of protesters throwing objects at mounted officers during the downtown demonstration Saturday.
While it is unclear from the video if any of the horses were injured, the Animal Eye Institute has extended their hand to officers located anywhere from Columbus to Lexington, Kentucky.
“We aren’t in any way going to get political here, but if any police horses have eye injuries from protests from Columbus down to Lexington, we will treat them for free,” the hospital wrote on Facebook. “Just call the office or send us an email. The big gentle giants don’t deserve to be hurt.”
While the Columbus protest turned violent, causing the Ohio governor to activate the National Guard and Columbus officials to issue a state of emergency and an indefinite city-wide curfew, most of the protesters in Lexington remained peaceful.
**Watch the video above for a look at the Columbus protests**
While some were seen turning over garbage cans, other protesters picked up the spilled trash. Some protesters confronted police, chanting “No Justice, No Peace!” and “I can’t breathe!”
A third “socially distant, non-violent protest” has been planned for Sunday night at 8 p.m. at the Lexington courthouse.
In Cincinnati, where the Animal Eye Clinic is located, protests have been violent. FOX 19 reports several protesters threw bottles and rocks at police. An Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper’s helmet was even stuck by a bullet. The officer is ok.
Some protesters were seen throwing trash cans into the streets and starting fires. Some businesses were also vandalized.
Twitter shut down a fake Antifa account after linking it to the white nationalist group Identity Evropa, the company announced Monday.
A Twitter spokesperson told CNN that an account claiming to belong to a national Antifa organization was shut down after it called for violence at protests over police brutality. Antifa, short for anti-fascist, is not a centralized organization but rather a political protest movement made up of small autonomous groups and individuals.
“This account violated our platform manipulation and spam policy, specifically the creation of fake accounts,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “We took action after the account sent a tweet inciting violence and broke the Twitter Rules.”
The move came after the account called for violence in residential areas.
“Tonight’s the night, Comrades,” the newly-created account tweeted Sunday. “Tonight we say ‘F**k The City’ and we move into the residential areas… the white hoods…. and we take what’s ours.”
The social network linked the fake account to Identity Evropa, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has classified as a white nationalist hate group.
A Twitter spokesperson told CNN that the company has taken action against fake accounts linked to Identity Evrope in the past, as well.
Sunday’s tweet was shared by Donald Trump Jr. on Instagram, who cited it as alleged evidence to support his father’s claim that Antifa is a domestic terror group, even though it is an affiliation rather than a centralized organization.
“Absolutely insane,” Don Jr. wrote. “Just remember what ANTIFA really is. A Terrorist Organization! They’re not even pretending anymore.”
NEWS: A Twitter account claiming to belong to a national “antifa” organization and pushing violent rhetoric related to ongoing protests has been linked to the white nationalist group Identity Evropa, according to a Twitter spokesperson. https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/security/twitter-takes-down-washington-protest-disinformation-bot-behavior-n1221456 …
The post was later removed after Twitter shut down the account.
The fake account was created as President Donald Trump tweeted that he would label Antifa a domestic terror group, though experts say such a move would be unconstitutional. It would also be impossible, since there is no centralized Antifa organization, though some local chapters affiliated with the movement are well-organized.
But the FBI found that white supremacist groups urged followers to engage in violence two days after Floyd’s death, Politico reported.
A memo from the Department of Homeland Security, citing the FBI, revealed that “a white supremacist extremist Telegram channel incited followers to engage in violence and start the ‘boogaloo’ — a term used by some violent extremists to refer to the start of a second Civil War — by shooting in a crowd.”
The FBI also has evidence that “suspected anarchist extremists and militia extremists allegedly planned to storm and burn the Minnesota state Capitol,” the memo said.
Though the memo did not specify, Politico noted that “anarchist extremists” appears to refer to left-wing extremists, while “militia extremists” refers to those on the far-right.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, first suggested that white supremacists or people from outside the state had infiltrated the protests last week. But Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who is leading the prosecution in Floyd’s death, urged caution before jumping to conclusions.
“The truth is, nobody really knows,” he told NBC News. “There’s been a lot of videotape taken by demonstrators of people who are very suspicious, who really did start breaking windows. There have been other photographs of cars with no license plates. Very suspicious behavior.”
Extremism experts said there was evidence of a wide range of participants.
“We’re going to see a diversity of fringe malefactors,” Brian Levin, who heads the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University at San Bernardino, told The New York Times. “We know for a fact there have been far-right agitators both online and at these rallies, as well as far-left.”
Protesters in Washington urge lawmakers to fight climate change; Ellison Barber reports from Washington.
Climate activists demonstrating to coincide with the 2019 U.N. Climate Action Summit blocked intersections and snarled morning-commute traffic across Washington, D.C., Monday morning as they called on officials to take action on global warming.
The group, called “Shut Down D.C.,” has planned a week of activities to bring attention to climate change and convince national and international leaders to act. Monday’s continuation of the “Global Climate Strike” follows worldwide climate protests on Friday, including a demonstration in New York City led by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg.
“Parents, workers, college students, and everyone who is concerned about the climate crisis will skip work and school and put off their other responsibilities to take action on the climate crisis,” the organization says on its website.
But the demonstrations across D.C. Monday morning also angered the city’s commuters as the scattered marches caused gridlock and detours. District of Columbia police reported making more than two-dozen arrests as of Monday afternoon.
A D.C. blogger posted one photo of a mass of cars halted behind a line of protesters a few blocks northwest of Mount Vernon Square. The same blogger also tweeted a picture of a literal dumpster fire on Massachusetts Ave.
At another protest site, police were using a saw to cut protesters out of chains attached to a painted boat.
The scene at 16th & K NW as climate change protesters block the intersection
Another group of about 30 protesters blocked an intersection near Union Station, holding up a large mock pipeline that read “stop pipelines now.” Police stopped traffic about a block in each direction and were moving vehicles around the area demonstrators had occupied.
The “Shut Down D.C.” protesters read testimonials from anti-pipeline activists in Oregon before chanting, “Hey-hey! Ho-ho! LNG has got to go.” LNG is an acronym for liquified natural gas.
Protesters also adapted the famous song “When The Saints Go Marching In” for their purposes.
Sept. 23, 2019: Protesters hoist up a fake pipeline near Union Station in Washington, D.C. (Tyler Olson/Fox News)
“Oh how I’d love to live in that future — when the frackers go to jail,” they sang.
While some passersby seemed to back the “Shut Down D.C.” demonstrators, others were not so supportive. One woman walking by yelled at the demonstrators that there was a handicapped woman walking down the street because they’d blocked traffic. The protesters responded by saying people were dying because of the climate crisis.
Shut Down DC@ShutDown_DC
*Massachusetts Ave and Capitol North West
*Independence Ave and 12th Street
*Maryland Ave and 12th Street
*Independence Ave and 7th Street
*K Street and 16th Street
*14th Street and Independence Ave#ShutDownDC
“You tell that to the woman walking with the cane up the street,” the woman shot back.
At approximately 9:45 a.m., the Twitter account purporting to represent the “Shut Down D.C.” group claimed they were still blocking traffic at eight locations across the city, including Logan Circle and Dupont Circle.