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bikers Thousands

Thousands of bikers heading to South Dakota rally to be blocked at tribal land checkpoints – The Guardian

Thousands of bikers heading to South Dakotas 10-day Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will not be allowed through Cheyenne River Sioux checkpoints, a spokesman for the Native American group said on Saturday.

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march Thousands

Tens of Thousands March in Russia’s Far East, Defying Kremlin – The Wall Street Journal

MOSCOW—Tens of thousands of people in Russia’s Far East marched in protests triggered by the arrest of a popular regional governor, but that have since morphed into a wave of growing dissatisfaction over social issues and the rule of President Vladimir Putin.

Saturday’s demonstrations marked the eighth consecutive day of public actions since the July 9 arrest of Sergei Furgal, the governor of Khabarovsk, for his alleged involvement in the murders of two businessmen and the attempted murder of another 15 years ago.

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confirms Thousands

AT&T confirms thousands of job cuts, 250 store closings – Axios

AT&T confirmed to Axios it is planning widespread job cuts that include managers and executives, in addition to 3,400 technician and clerical jobs. It will also close 250 retail stores, impacting 1,300 retail jobs.

Why it matters: While the cuts can’t be separated from the COVID-19 impact on the economy, the moves also come as the mobile industry has consolidated from four national players to three following T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint.

Details: The stores facing closure are a mix of AT&T-branded locations and those of Cricket Wireless, AT&T’s prepaid brand, according to the Communication Workers of America, which represents some of AT&T’s employees.

  • AT&T confirmed the cuts, but did not give a specific total number, other than to say the job reductions were “sizable.”
  • AT&T said the store closures were planned, but accelerated by the pandemic. Most store employees will be offered another job with AT&T, the company said.
  • Laid-off workers will receive severance pay and six months of company-provided healthcare, AT&T said.

What they’re saying:

  • AT&T: In a statement to Axios, AT&T said the cuts stem from lower demand for some legacy products, as well as the impact of the pandemic.As a result, there will be targeted, but sizable reductions in our workforce across executives, managers and union-represented employees, consistent with our previously announced transformation initiative. Additionally, we’ll be eliminating more non-payroll workers — the vast majority of which are outside the United States — than we are managers or union-represented employees.”
  • CWA: “If we are in a war to keep our economy going during this crisis, why is AT&T dismissing the troops?” Communications Workers of America president Chris Shelton said in a statement. The union also noted that the cuts come after hedge fund Elliott Management took a $3.2 billion stake in AT&T last year.

Meanwhile: In a statement, T-Mobile confirmed it is cutting some jobs too, though it didn’t say how many. But it notes it is hiring for 5,000 new positions over the next year as well. The company committed to growing its net employment as it sought regulatory approval to buy Sprint.

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Thousands Washington

Washington sees tens of thousands at George Floyd protest – Los Angeles Times

At times, it seemed almost all of the nation’s capital came out to protest racism and police brutality on Saturday.

Tens of thousands of people converged on the newly — and officially — named Black Lives Matter Plaza smack dab in front of the White House, which now resembles a fortress surrounded by high fences and concrete barriers, to decry the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Black power activists came, along with women from the YWCA. Army vets and union recruiters. Heavily tattooed people and women in hijabs. Children and gray-haired grandmothers. Federal workers, priests, doctors in scrubs, people with Bibles who seemed familiar enough with the book to know how to hold it.

Unlike earlier this week, there was minimal police presence and no reports of violence or vandalism. The mood was serious and passionate but also peaceful and friendly.

And the mayor was there.

“You know we have to speak up loudly for more justice and more peace!” Mayor Muriel Bowser called out to the crowd.

Few American cities have embraced the demonstrations over the police killing of Floyd, and of the heavy-handed federal response, as enthusiastically as the District of Columbia. And that has led to a battle between Bowser and the occupant of the besieged White House, President Trump.

At Bowser’s order, district public works crews on Friday painted “Black Lives Matter” in huge neon-yellow letters, stretching from curb to curb and down two full city blocks on 16th Street, which leads directly to the White House. Trump snapped back on Twitter, calling her “incompetent.”

City officials expected Saturday’s demonstrations, which also took place in nearby Maryland and Virginia suburbs, to be the largest so far. Rallies resumed for the ninth consecutive day across the country.

“The silent majority cannot be silent anymore,” said Eileen Suffian, a 64-year-old accountant who attended the Washington rally with her rescue dog Moxie. “Where there is justice somewhere, there is justice everywhere.”

As part of the age group considered more vulnerable to the coronavirus, Suffian said she spent weeks trying to avoid crowds. But after federal officials used riot police and National Guard troops, chemical gas and low-flying military helicopters to scatter peaceful protesters near the White House on Monday, she said she had to act.

“The government mobilizing the Army against its own citizens — I never thought i’d live to see that,” she said.

Noel Rubio, 24, the son of immigrants from the Philippines, said the causes of civil rights and LGBTQ equality have benefited from black activism, and it was time to return the support.

“We are standing up for our black brothers and sisters to say, Enough is enough,” said Rubio, who works in Washington as a consultant.

Unlike most of the carefully choreographed marches and rallies that often occur in Washington, the anti-racism protest Saturday appeared a grass-roots effort with no single organizer or group in charge. It was broadly dispersed, with parades of people hoisting signs, wearing masks and chanting cries for justice as they crisscrossed the city in sweltering heat.

With much of the downtown closed to traffic, crowds stretched about a mile up 16th Street from the White House, and for about two miles from Capitol Hill to the White House. Demonstrators also crowded the grassy National Mall, massing in front of the Lincoln Memorial and other monuments.

Some protesters stopped to take a knee. Others held up their hands and chanted, “Don’t shoot!” Almost to a person, they carried signs, as well as masks, proclaiming, “I can’t breathe” or “Black futures matter.”

In some spots music blared from speakers; elsewhere, there were competitions of megaphones broadcasting speeches.

Along the many routes, in the intense heat and humidity, churches and individual groups offered free bottles of water, lunches and squirts of hand sanitizer to the demonstrators.

Several protesters credited Bowser for having stepped in after the Monday crackdown, when protesters were violently cleared so that Trump could make his way to St. John’s Episcopal Church for a photo op. Since then, several protesters said, the atmosphere has shifted from a military-occupied city to something closer to a street festival.

Police also offered a welcoming tone.

“We are going to continue to change our policing methods to make them the most acceptable to the community we serve,” Police Chief Peter Newsham said as he welcomed Saturday’s demonstrations.

In another dig at Trump, Bowser asked governors who sent National Guard troops to withdraw them, saying they were unnecessary and “encroached on the rights” of city residents. On Friday, after Bowser complained, the Pentagon said it was withdrawing the 1,600 active-duty troops it had sent to bases near the city.

Andrew Duggins, who completed four deployments in Afghanistan before retiring from the Army as a captain last year, said he was stunned to realize that the military has more rules about use of force than the police in Minneapolis, where Floyd died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

“We had escalation-of-force procedures, and if we didn’t follow them, we’d get hammered,” he said.

One question that swirled through the crowds Saturday was simple. What comes next? Will the wave of anguish and activism translate into votes in November?

“I sense an energy, a pressure for real substantive change,” said Father Patrick Keyser, an Episcopal priest who welcomed demonstrators outside St. John’s. “Not to say it will be easy.”

There were numerous “Dump Trump” signs, and organizers promoting voter registration. But there was also widespread cynicism that voting seems not to have improved the plight of many black Americans.

“We can’t risk not voting,” said Quinn Smith, a black 26-year-old who works in information technology. “The rights of all of us are at stake.” He hoisted a sign that said “Black lives matter” and “VOTE!”

Casting his eyes at the diverse masses around him, Smith added, “This is America, the perfect representation of what America should look like.”

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Protesters Thousands

Thousands of protesters gather in DC for largest George Floyd demonstration yet – Fox News

Hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered Saturday across Washington D.C., including near the White House, to march against police brutality and racism in response to the recent death of George Floyd in police custody — part of protests that took place in cities across the U.S.

Black Lives Matter organizers were hoping to draw a million protesters, with groups of demonstrators gathering at the Capitol, the National Mall, and with thousands gathering near the White House. A law enforcement source told Fox News that an estimated 200,000 people came to protest in D.C. throughout the course of the day.

One crowd of about 2,000 people gathered at Malcolm X Park at one point and, after giving speeches and singing, began marching down 16th Street toward the White House, according to Fox News’ Kelly Phares. Protesters gathered in front of newly-installed high fencing that was keeping protestors out of Lafayette Park in front of the White House.

Authorities have expanded the fenced security perimeter around the White House, which now reaches to the outskirts of a park complex known as the Ellipse, near the National Mall. It comes amid concerns that the mostly peaceful protests seen in recent days could be marred by the rioting and looting seen at the beginning of the week and last weekend.

“We have a lot of public, open-source information to suggest that the event on this upcoming Saturday may be one of the largest that we’ve had in the city,” D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham told reporters Thursday.

President Trump tweeted that there was a “much smaller crowd in D.C. than anticipated.”

“National Guard, Secret Service, and D.C. Police have been doing a fantastic job. Thank you!” he tweeted.

Protesters also demonstrated in San Francisco and New York City, as well as Philadelphia and Chicago. As of Saturday evening there were few signs of the violence that had marred previous protests in recent days.

It was not clear how many would show up for Saturday’s demonstrations, but #1MillionDCSaturday was trending on Twitter in a call for 1 million people to march on the capital.

Crowds applauded for D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser as she walked along the portion of 16th Street that she renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza. Bowser has feuded with President Trump over the city’s handling of the protests, that devolved into riots earlier in the week.

Trump accused her of not doing enough to shut down the violence, while Bowser has pushed back on Trump’s calls for the use of federal law enforcement to quell disturbances.

Uniformed military personnel walk in front of the White House ahead of a protest against racial inequality in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Washington, U.S. June 6, 2src2src. 

Uniformed military personnel walk in front of the White House ahead of a protest against racial inequality in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Washington, U.S. June 6, 2020. 
(Reuters)

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Friday that local officials were estimating a crowd of 100,000 to 200,000 protesters.

DC READIES FOR SATURDAY PROTESTS AS POLICE CHIEF SAYS IT MAY BE ‘LARGEST WE’VE HAD IN THE CITY’

Newsham wouldn’t commit to a number but predicted it would be smaller than the Women’s March in 2017, which drew roughly a million people.

Police announced Friday that large swaths of roads would be closed to make room for demonstrators Saturday.

U.S. Park Police told McClatchy DC it was using “intelligence to monitor upcoming events” but would not divulge details that could “pose a hazard to the public and police.”

More than 4,500 National Guard troops are still deployed in Washington and various federal law enforcement officers are also patrolling the city,

But Bowser wants all non-D.C.troops out of the city. All 900 active-duty military police brought to bases around Washington following the civil unrest after Floyd’s death are heading home, the Department of Defense said Friday.

Bowser said she only requested 100 D.C. National Guard troops to line the perimeter of the White House, in a limited role and unarmed.

Protesters have lined the streets surrounding the White House every day this week.  On Monday, riot police cleared peaceful protesters out of Lafayette Square, using pepper balls and smoke canisters, so that President Trump could walk to a neighboring church for a photo op.

Uniformed military personnel walks into the secured White House area ahead of a protest against racial inequality in reaction to the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Washington, U.S., June 6, 2src2src. 

Uniformed military personnel walks into the secured White House area ahead of a protest against racial inequality in reaction to the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Washington, U.S., June 6, 2020. 
(Reuters)

Since then protests have been largely peaceful with few arrests, and the city has not enforced a curfew since Wednesday night.

Across the nation, the number of National Guard troops mobilized across the country has doubled in the past four days. The National Guard tweet Saturday that 43,000 troops were deployed across 34 states and D.C. to assist law enforcement with civil unrest, while 37,000 Guard soldiers and airmen continue to assist with Covid-19 response.

Dozens of protests are planned across all boroughs in New York City, after Friday the Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. announced that his office would not prosecute protesters charged with breaking curfew or other low-level offenses. Protesters charged with low-level offenses “undermines critical bonds between law enforcement and the communities we serve,” the district attorney said.

New York City has an 8 p.m. curfew in place until Sunday night, after looters ransacked businesses, mostly at the beginning of the week. There have been a number of clashes between officers and aggressive protesters, but as the week has progressed, protests have grown more peaceful.  Police say they’ve arrested in the city about 2,500 people since the end of May.

On Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio explained why he didn’t lift the curfew.

“Anyone who would say ‘Is it more harm than good?’ I would say no. We’ve had three really good nights after two really bad nights,” the mayor said.

New York Police Department officers stand in formation after arresting multiple protesters marching after curfew on Fifth Avenue, Thursday, June 4, 2src2src, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

New York Police Department officers stand in formation after arresting multiple protesters marching after curfew on Fifth Avenue, Thursday, June 4, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

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In Chicago, officials prepared for another busy weekend of demonstrations, and hundreds had already begun to gather in Union Park on Saturday morning. The city shut down a number of main streets and modified transit routes for Saturday to make room for protesters. Chicago’s 9 p.m. curfew remains in place over the weekend.

At the same time, thousands of mourners showed up Saturday to remember Floyd ahead of a second memorial service, this time in North Carolina near where he was born.

The mourners lined up Saturday morning for a two-hour public viewing of his casket at Cape Fear Conference B in Raeford, about 24 miles from Fayetteville. A private service for family members only begins at 3 p.m. local time but is being broadcast.

Fox News’ Kelly Phares, Raymond Bogan and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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protest Thousands

Thousands protest Indigenous Australians’ death in police custody – Al Jazeera English

People staged protests across Australian cities to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

They also demanded changes at home following the deaths of hundreds of Aboriginal people in police custody.

Meanwhile, a Sydney court overturned a government decision to ban the rally because of coronavirus restrictions, minutes before it started.

Al Jazeera’s Nicola Gage reports from Sydney, Australia.

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Thousands of Hong Kongers defy police ban to remember Tiananmen Square – CNN

Hong Kong (CNN)Thousands of Hong Kongers defied a police ban Thursday to gather in the city’s Victoria Park and mark the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

The rally, which has been held every year since the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in China, had been banned over coronavirus fears, a move many viewed as political in a city where infections are down to a handful per month.
Early Thursday evening however, hundreds and then thousands of people defied the order, as well as signs and fences around Victoria Park, to occupy two large football pitches where the rally has been traditionally held. While numbers appeared down on previous years, and the usually well-organized memorial had a rather chaotic impromptu feel, they were by no means negligible, a major sign of defiance to Beijing.
Lee Cheuk-yan, an organizer and former lawmaker, led the crowd in chants of “end one-party rule,” and “democracy for China!”
Others chanted slogans from last year’s anti-government protests, including “fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong,” and a more recent refrain, “Hong Kong independence, the only way out.”
Those slogans could be illegal in the near future, as Beijing moves to impose a draconian national security law banning sedition, secession and separatism. Similar laws have been used to crack down on dissidents and pro-democracy activists in China.
That impending law is currently being drafted in Beijing and will be imposed automatically in Hong Kong via a rarely used constitutional backdoor, bypassing the city’s legislature. The law hung over this year’s Tiananmen memorial even before the event was officially banned, as both opposition and pro-government figures have predicted similar rallies could be illegal in future.
Hong Kong has long been the only place on Chinese soil where a mass commemoration of the June 4 crackdown is held. This fact has been a litmus test of sorts for the city’s autonomy from China, which has shrunk considerably in recent years, culminating in the national security law, which Beijing has said is necessary to prevent the type of violent unrest seen last year.
That unrest had been resuming as Hong Kong came out of the coronavirus crisis, and social distancing regulations relaxed. But police had responded to earlier protests with overwhelming numbers, and used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse several gatherings in recent weeks.
Thursday saw a complete reversal in tactics, as police stayed largely out of sight as several thousand people ignored fences and signs to gather illegally in Victoria Park. It was a striking contrast, perhaps a deliberate one, with protests in the US, which Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday pointed at to accuse critics of hers in Washington of “double standards.”
Crowds began dispersing soon after 8 p.m. local time, following the lighting of candles and a moment of silence to remember the hundreds, possibly thousands, who were killed in the Tiananmen crackdown.
At its peak, the crowd spilled across two football pitches, and while there were considerably more gaps than in previous years, it was a major display of defiance in a city that has seemed somewhat shell-shocked in recent weeks by news of the national security law.
The next major test, of both the pro-democracy movement and the authorities, will come as early as next week, which sees two key anniversaries of last year’s protest movement.
About 1 million people marched against an extradition bill with China on June 9, 2019, while three days later, protesters blockaded the city’s legislature and clashed with police to prevent the law being passed. It was eventually withdrawn in September 2019, by which point the anti-government movement had grown substantially, with its goals expanded beyond a single bill.

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