Violent protests in US detract from the legitimate concerns facing black people, minorities: Pandor

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The Minister of International Relations, Dr Naledi Pandor, on behalf of President Cyril Ramaphosa and South Africans – has sympathised with the relatives and friends of the 46-year old George Floyd who tragically died in Minneapolis last week – in the latest case of police brutality against African Americans in the United States. Pandor says the violent protests in most US states, detracts from the legitimate concerns facing black people and minorities in America.

South Africa has called on all in Americans, especially the security forces to exercise maximum restraint in responding to the anger and frustration felt by many of its citizens and international partners while referring to the regrettable death of Mr. Floyd as presenting the USA with an opportunity to address fundamental issues of human rights such as freedom, dignity and equality. Pandor indicated that just as the people of America supported South Africa in its legitimate struggle against apartheid, they too support the clarion calls for practical action to address the inadequacies highlighted by protesters, civil society and human rights organisations. The Minister called on all leaders to work together to end violence and to develop a set of measures that would serve to end the insecurity and harm experienced by many members of the African American community in the United States.

Evening curfews

Thousands of demonstrators took to a knee in the grass outside the US Capitol on Tuesday, chanting “silence is violence” and “no justice, no peace,” just before a government-imposed curfew as rallies against police brutality swelled in major cities.

The throng at the capitol then stood up and chanted “take a knee” and “who do you protect?” as officers faced them.

Evening curfews were ordered in dozens of cities following a week of protests over the death of 46-year-old George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. Largely peaceful during the day, the crowds have erupted into vandalism, arson and looting after dark.

But Trump’s vow to end the protests and curfews have so far had little effect in dampening the violence that has broken out after dark.

On Tuesday protesters in several cities massed peacefully in large numbers, including in Los Angeles, Washington and Philadelphia.

In New York City, thousands held an orderly march up 86th Street, chanting and holding signs saying “no justice, no peace” and “say his name, George Floyd,” followed by a silent vigil.

In Floyd’s hometown of Houston, thousands gathered for a march organized by his friends and family.

In the video below, protests continue in the US

Meanwhile, Bank of America Corp has pledged $1 billion to help communities across the country address economic and racial inequality, the first big bank to vow monetary support following violent protests after the death of an unarmed black man at the hands of police in Minneapolis.

Bank of America said its four-year commitment will include programmes such as virus testing and other health services, especially focusing on communities of colour, support to minority-owned small businesses, and partnerships with historically black and Hispanic educational institutions.