KENOSHA | The injuries inflicted on African-American Jacob Blake by a white policeman have rekindled the embers of anti-racist anger in the United States which, after fueling a boycott movement in the sports world, is preparing to take to the streets of the capital city.
Tens of thousands of people are expected Friday in Washington for a demonstration organized on the anniversary of the iconic speech of the leader of the fight for civil rights Martin Luther King, “I have a dream”.
Entitled “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks,” the march refers to George Floyd, an African-American suffocated by a white policeman on May 25 in Minneapolis, whose death sparked a protest movement not seen in decades in the United States. .
While the mobilization was running out of steam, it was relaunched Sunday in the town of Kenosha, near the Great Lakes, by the Jacob Blake affair. The 29-year-old father was shot several times in the back at point blank range by a white police officer, under the watchful eye of his three little boys. According to his lawyer, he will remain paralyzed.
The perpetrator, Constable Rusten Sheskey, was fired, but was not arrested or charged, fueling feelings of injustice. For three nights, the demonstrations were punctuated by violence which left two dead and one seriously injured.
A 17-year-old, Kyle Rittenhouse, who joined groups of armed men demonstrating their desire to “protect” the city, has been arrested and charged with the murders. He is suspected of having opened fire on demonstrators with an assault rifle.
After this tragedy, the tension eased Thursday in Kenosha. Reverend Jesse Jackson, a figure of the black community, came to advocate the virtues of peaceful action, artists conveyed reconciling messages on murals and even local police praised the attitude of the demonstrators.
Compared to previous nights, “the atmosphere has changed dramatically,” County Sheriff David Beth confirmed at a press conference. After the curfew was imposed, “there were only a few hundred people who marched peacefully,” he added.
Anger continued to spread in the sports world, however. After the decision of the Milwaukee Bucks basketball players to boycott a game, the NBA had to postpone several games on Wednesday and Thursday. However, she hoped to be able to resume competition on Friday or Saturday.
Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka refused a time to play in the semi-final of the Cincinnati tournament, whose organizers have postponed all matches scheduled for Thursday by one day. Football and baseball matches have also been postponed.
“Change doesn’t happen just by talking !! It happens through action and must happen NOW! ” Lakers superstar LeBron James justified Thursday on Twitter by using the slogan “Black Lives Matter” (Black lives matter).
President Donald Trump, who relies on a firm speech to win a second term, mocked the “very bad audiences” of the NBA, which he accused of being a “political organization”.
Without a word for Jacob Blake, the Republican president has so far focused on the violence committed on the sidelines of the demonstrations and swore that he would not tolerate “anarchy in the American streets”.
Thursday evening, he formally accepted the nomination of his party as presidential candidate on November 3, posing as a defender of “law and order”, facing Democrat Joe Biden.
“If the Democratic Party wants to side with anarchists, agitators, rioters, looters and flag burners, that’s their problem, but as president, I refuse,” he said. he throws.
Mr. Biden, whom the president accuses of laxity, threw the ball back at him. “All the government does is add fuel to the fire,” he said, criticizing Donald Trump for “wanting to distract” from his mismanagement of the COVID pandemic -19.
His running mate, Black Senator Kamala Harris, drove home the point, calling not to confuse peaceful protesters with those who commit violence. “Let’s be clear, we will not let militias and extremists derail the train of justice,” she added, as the president has consistently supported Americans’ right to self-defense.