Zamir Ahmed Awan: Protests in the US are taking a dangerous turn

June 03 , 2020

By Zamir Ahmed Awan, a senior fellow with Center for China and Globalization(CCG)

Protests continued for a sixth day across the US over the death of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. At least 40 cities have imposed curfews, and the National Guard have been activated in 15 states and Washington, DC. Even the White House is no longer safe, and President Trump, along with his family, was moved to underground bunker. Armored vehicles and armed troops are everywhere. Protests are spreading rapidly and gaining momentum. Although one former officer, who was seen in a video with his knee on Floyd’s neck, was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, but protesters and critics believe the charge is not harsh enough. Protesters want to see charges for all four police officers involved in the death of Floyd.

Although it seems that the immediate issue is the death of George Floyd, however, the background story is long and sad. The racism in the US has victimized many blacks, Asians, and other minorities. Especially under Trump’s administration, the feeling of white supremacy has become more obvious. Discrimination, hate, and injustice are felt widely, and the anger boiled over suddenly. It seems the protesters want to settle all previous accounts too.

It has been noticed that, among protesters, there are not only blacks, but many white people are also seen in the videos and eye-witnessed reports. It is not only black people, but sometimes poor white people are also victimized. The highly polarized society of the US is on the verge of collapse. As long as the country was prospering and everyone was getting sufficient dividends to live a comfortable life, no problem surfaced. However, with the decline of the economy, people are suffering and getting angry. Protests are not only against a single incident; in fact, so many incidents of injustice, hate, and discrimination happened that piled up to a stage where the outbreak of protests was inevitable.

The government’s capacity for handing such protests was limited, and wrong decisions made the protests flare further. The US was a country advocating for freedom of expression, but snubbing media has added fuel to the fire. Peaceful agitation and protests were the legal right of US citizens promised their constitution. However, the use of force by the authorities and brutality has forced the protesters to be violent. Remarks like “Shoot at Spot” are dangerous orders indeed. It is time to deliver justice; it is an open secret that the police officer killed him deliberately, and others facilitated him or at least not resisted. Judiciary must act swiftly and punish them publically; it will cool down the protesters immediately. The more the government delays or protects the criminal police, the more anger may rise among the protesters.

“The gun culture” society is highly charged and can lead to any much dangerous severe stage. The government’s inability to address the public concerns in time and appropriately may complicate the situation further.

In fact, the CIA was involved in subversion and sabotage activities in foreign countries. The CIA was always involved in toppling legitimate governments around the world if they consider them “unfriendly”. The US enters a country under the umbrella of friendship and cultivate disgruntle or destitute people, train them, fund them, and finally exploit them in various sabotage and subversion activities. The US government is always meddling into the domestic affairs of other countries. Unfortunately, they were not trained to handle protests on their own soil.

Human life is the most precious thing in this universe. The loss of even one life is a net loss to humanity. Either it is protesters or administration, the loss of life is regretted. Either it is black or white, the loss of life is not acceptable. Either it is in America or any other part of the world, the suffering of humankind is not acceptable. Either rich or poor, any religion or any ethnicity, the human lives are sacred and must be respected. We sincerely wish an early end to violence and urge both sides the cool-down and observe restraints and patience. Save the human lives and respect humanity.

About Author 

Zamir Ahmed Awan is a senior fellow at the Center for China and Globalization(CCG) and a sinologist at the National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan.