confront Protesters

BLM protesters confront gun-toting storeowner in Louisville as they press him to voice his support – Daily Mail

A group of Black Lives Matter protesters were filmed in a tense confrontation with a Louisville store owner after they demanded he voice his support for the movement during a third night of Breonna Taylor demonstrations in the city.  

Footage of the incident, shared on Twitter by a reporter for conservative news site Daily Caller, shows a small crowd of BLM activists grilling business owner Fadi Faouri, as he stands outside his store holding a rifle. 

During the encounter, the group is seen ganging up on Faouri for several minutes as they challenge his views on the BLM movement and the police shooting of Breonna Taylor after he refuses to say he supports the cause.  

The exchange kicks off after a man asks Faouri, ‘do black lives matter?’ to which he replies: ‘If you’re a good person I will care about you, if you’re a bad person….’ before shrugging.

The man then asks him if ‘Breonna Taylor matters’. Faouri hesitates for a few seconds before responding: ‘Does it matter? I don’t know.’

Scroll down for video 

A group of Black Lives Matter protesters were filmed confronting Louisville store owner Fadi Faouri (far right) as he defended his business amid another night of unrest on Friday 

Faouri was grilled over his views on the BLM movement and the injustice surrounding the shooting of Breonna Taylor 

The confrontation turned tense after Faouri repeatedly skirted the question and refused to say directly if he did or did not support Black Lives Matter

The conversation turned tense after a woman comes into frame questioning his response and more members of the crowd start urging Faouri to explain what he means.  

‘Are you trying to intimidate me? I’m not playing that game,’ Faouri says, as he explains that he is trying to protect his business. 

An argument then ensues as the group starts to close in on the store owner and continue to demand he say whether or not he believes in their cause. A person in the background can be heard shouting, ‘we don’t want your business’. 

Faouri turns his attention to the initial male protester telling him he will not be forced to say anything he doesn’t believe. ‘Nobody can intimidate me,’ he says. 

The two parties continue to argue for several seconds but Faouri remains defiant in his refusal to engage in their debate and the protesters eventually disperse, with the exception of one woman.

At one point, a woman claiming to be a documentary filmmaker approaches Faouri and criticizes him for his stance, or lackthereof, as she lectures him over the injustice surrounding Breonna Taylor’s death

Faouri retorted by saying Breonna Taylor’s shooting was ‘not my business’, further escalating the argument 

The woman, who claimed to be a documentary filmmaker, approaches Faouri and criticizes him for his stance, or lackthereof, as she lectures him over the injustice surrounding Breonna Taylor’s death.  

‘That’s not my f**king business!’ Faouri replies.

‘It should be your business because all lives matter right?’ the woman says, as she starts to debate Faouri on racial disparities. ‘You can say that, but it’s the color black that is the issue,’ she adds.  

‘You have an issue with that, I don’t have an issue,’ Faouri says in response. ‘I don’t care, white or black bulls***t, I see you as a human being, that’s all that I care about.’   

The debate finally comes to an end after a fellow protester urges the woman to leave the area. 

Faouri had been defending his business on Friday after a building he was leasing was reportedly destroyed in a ‘firebomb’ set off by protesters the previous night, according to the Daily Caller journalist. 

It is unclear if protesters specifically targeted his building.

LOS ANGELES: Footage was captured showing an LAPD deputy using his riot shield to slam a Black Lives Matter protester into the ground on Friday night

LOS ANGELES: Around 100 people were seen marching in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles on Friday evening

Protests continue to rock the city and other areas of across the country days after a grand jury refused to charge Louisville police officers with Breonna Taylor’s murder.    

Violent clashes have broken out between police officers and demonstrators over the last week, as some activists have taken to the streets to target businesses and cause chaos. 

On Friday, footage emerged of a police officer with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office using his riot shield to slam a BLM protester who was already lying on the ground. The footage showed  the deputy forcefully using their riot shield to subdue a protester. 

The incident took place in West Hollywood area of the city which saw more than 100 protesters gathered on Friday evening as they marched along Santa Monica Boulevard.     

Meanwhile, across the other side of the country, hundreds of Black Lives Matter staged a ‘sit-in’ on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City

Hundreds of angry demonstrators marched through from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to the Brooklyn Bridge where they sat and refused to move for more than hour. 

And in Oakland, California, police said more than 250 protesters became ‘immediately violent’ and threw bottles and cans at officers in the downtown area.

NEW YORK: Hundreds of angry demonstrators marched through from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to the Brooklyn Bridge where they sat and refused to move for more than hour

NEW YORK: A woman holds a portrait of Breonna Taylor during the march for Breonna Taylor

NEW YORK: Protesters exit the Brooklyn Bridge during the march for Breonna Taylor in New York City

NEW YORK: People participate during the march for Breonna Taylor in New York City on the Brooklyn Bridge

Cops deployed smoke to counter the demonstrators, and a downtown Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station was closed. 

Friday’s rally was held in solidarity with protests taking place in Louisville, where large demonstrations are planned for the weekend. 

Several other demonstrations took place around the rest of the country including Boston and San Diego to protest a grand jury’s decision not to charge the Louisville, Kentucky, police officers in the death of Breonna Taylor

OAKLAND: Cops deployed smoke to counter the demonstrators, and a downtown Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station was closed

OAKLAND: Police said more than 250 protesters became ‘immediately violent’ and threw bottles and cans

NEW YORK: People are pictured protesting on the Brooklyn Bridge during the march for Breonna Taylor on Friday night

NEW YORK: Police wait at one end of the bridge as protesters attempt to leave the massive structure after the demonstration

NEW YORK: The march started off at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and slowly moved towards the famous bridge

‘This is extremely traumatizing. I have been out here since June, almost every day on the streets, marching for my Black life to show people that I matter, that it could be me, it could be him, it could be him, it could be any Black face that you see in this crowd,’ protester Sophie Michel said to CBS2. 

‘I think we need to send a message that it’s unacceptable that no one was charged with Breonna Taylor’s death,’ said John Donahue to PIX11.  

Taylor, an emergency medical worker, was shot multiple times by white officers in Louisville who entered her home during a narcotics investigation in March.   

BOSTON: Demonstrators march past Boston Police headquarters during a ‘Stand Against Racist Police Murders’ demo

BOSTON: Protesters could be seen gathered downtown with even large protests planned for Saturday

In Kentucky on Friday, a crowd surrounded Breonna Taylor’s family. Her aunt, Bianca Austin, wore Taylor’s emergency medical technician jacket while reading a message from Taylor’s mother, who was too distraught to speak. 

‘I’m angry because this nation is learning that our Black women are dying at the hands of police officers,’ said Bianca Austin, ‘and this is not okay.’ 

‘I was reassured Wednesday of why I have no faith in the legal system, in the police, in the law that are not made to protect us Black and brown people,’ Austin read. 

In Boston, demonstrators gathered in Nubian Square to at part of the nationwide protests. 

The protest remained peaceful as they marched to the Boston Police Headquarters later in the night. The group then moved onto City Hall Plaza for a sit-in.  

The gathering appeared to be among the larger groups the city of Boston has seen in some time. 

Some carried signs with messages such as ‘Justice 4 Breonna,’ ‘Black Lives Matter,’ and ‘Let Black women dream.’ 

The demonstration was largely peaceful with no arrests had been reported as of 10:45pm.

‘I feel like that message being sent that cops can do whatever they want and not be held accountable so this is just an attempt to reenergize the city and reenergize anyone that sees this to get back out on the streets to fight and increase the antiracist movement because this is not ok,’ organizer Ernest Jacques Jr. said to WHDH.

LOUISVILLE: Protests over the killing of Breonna Taylor continued for the third day in a row Friday

LOUISVILLE: Protesters marched to First Unitarian Church and stayed there past the cities 9pm curfew. Pictured is protest organizer in front of the First Unitarian Church

LOUISVILLE: Protests over the killing of Breonna Taylor continued for the third day in a row Friday. Pictured are protesters marching down Market Street in the city

LOUISVILLE: Protests over the killing of Breonna Taylor continued for the third day in a row. Pictured is a woman holding a BLM flag in front of the First Unitarian Church

The mayor of Boston Marty Walsh urged calm and asked demonstrators to respect the city ahead of the protest.   

‘I’m asking people planning to demonstrate in Boston tonight and over the weekend to respect the city and respect each other,’ he said. ‘I’m asking you to keep it peaceful, I’m asking you to keep it powerful. People are deeply upset, but we cannot turn to violence to express our pain.’

‘We want to maintain law and order and at the same time protect everyone’s ability to peacefully assembler and make their voices heard. So in case, there is a need for us we’re a little bit closer than we were perhaps in May,’ Lt. Colonel Bryan Pillai said. 

‘Start charging police officers for murder. You in your house sleeping, you ain’t safe. Usually the rebuttal is don’t fight the police, cooperate. How the hell do you do that sleeping?’ community activist Monica Cannon-Grant said to NBC Boston.  

LOUISVILLE: A woman holds a BLM flag in front of the Breonna Taylor memorial at Jackson Square Park

LOUISVILLE: A woman wearing a protective mask holds a portrait of Breonna Taylor during the march 

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Naked Protesters

Naked protesters demand action after Daniel Prude’s killing – ABC News

Protesters demonstrated outside Rochester’s police headquarters naked except for “spit hoods” in reference to the killing of Daniel Prude

September 7, 2020, 6:42 PM

4 min read

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Naked except for “spit hoods” in a reference to the killing of Daniel Prude, several protesters sat outside Rochester’s police headquarters Monday morning to push for police accountability, local news outlets reported.

Photos and video showed the demonstrators, some with “Black Lives Matter” written on their backs, sitting silently with their hands behind them, on a rain-slicked street outside the city Public Safety Building. The Democrat & Chronicle reported that after a time, the demonstrators were given blankets and left in cars.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump tweeted that Rochester was among cities that had “bad nights,” while Mayor Lovely Warren commended activist leaders, police and community elders on a night of calm protest.

Prude, a 41-year-old Black man, died after police found him running naked in a street March 23, put a hood over his head to stop him from spitting, then held him down for about two minutes until he stopped breathing. He died a week later after he was taken off life support.

His brother, Joe Prude, had called 911 seeking help for Daniel Prude’s unusual behavior. He had been taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation earlier that night but released after a few hours, his brother told officers.

His death sparked outrage after his relatives on Wednesday released police body camera video and written reports they obtained through a public records request.

Seven police officers were suspended Thursday, and state Attorney General Letitia James said Saturday she would form a grand jury and conduct an “exhaustive investigation” into Prude’s death. Warren and Police Chief La’Ron Singletary have faced calls for their resignations over the delay in releasing details of Prude’s death.

Police union officials have said the officers were following their training.

Protesters have demanded police accountability and legislation to change how authorities respond to mental health emergencies.

Nightly demonstrations continued Sunday, when police said more than 1,000 protesters marched to the Public Safety Building.

Previous nights’ demonstrations intensified into clashes between police and protesters, with officers dousing activists with a chemical spray and firing what appeared to be pepper balls to drive them from barricades around the headquarters building. At points, fireworks were shot off and a bus stop was set ablaze.

Local media said there were no such confrontations Sunday night, when community elders served as a buffer between protesters and police. The Police Department said no arrests were made.

“Last night the world saw the true spirit of Rochester,” Warren said in a statement, adding that she had told the police department Sunday “to adopt a smaller and more restrained posture.”

Trump, however, mentioned Rochester in a Monday morning tweet about cities he said “all had bad nights” and were “weakly run by Radical Left Democrat Governors and Mayors!”

“Get the picture?” the Republican president added added.

Warren, a Democrat, urged people to ignore Trump’s comments, accusing him of trying “to bait people to act with hate and incite violence that he believes will benefit him politically.”

This summer, Trump has repeatedly portrayed Democratic mayors as weak leaders who have let their cities be overrun by violence and disorderly protests, casting himself as the president of “law and order” who will protect the country from chaos.

Shootings, killings and other crimes have increased this summer in cities including New York, Chicago and Detroit, though crime overall remains lower than it has been in years past.

Trump has sought to tie street violence to protests. Criminal justice experts say the crime spikes defy easy explanation in a year with historic unemployment and a pandemic that has killed more than 180,000 people.

ABC News

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Portland Protesters

Portland protesters throw fire bombs on 100th night of demonstrations | TheHill – The Hill

Protesters and police clashed in Portland, Ore., on Saturday night following the 100th consecutive day of demonstrations in the city.

Police said that  protesters threw firebombs, Reuters reported.  

“Arrests have been made, yes,” police told Reuters in an emailed statement. Officials did not identify how many arrests were made.

In a tweet, authorities said a “community member” had been injured by the projectiles.

Police are making repeated announcements. This remains a riot. Members of the group have thrown Molotov cocktails injuring at least one community member. Failure to disperse may result in arrest citation crowd control agents including tear gas and/or impact weapons.

— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) September 6, 2020

Although protests against racism and police brutality have occurred in all 50 states since the death of George Floyd in May, Portland’s have been some of the highest-profile demonstrations.

Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) and President TrumpDonald John TrumpCohen claims in new book that Trump is ‘guilty of the same crimes’ as him ‘Princess Bride’ cast to reunite for Wisconsin Democrats fundraiser Bernie Sanders warns that Trump may not concede the election MORE have engaged in a war of words over the federal response to demonstrations and riots. In a letter last month, Wheeler wrote that the deployment of federal officers to the city had exacerbated the situation. “Your offer to repeat that disaster is a cynical attempt to stoke fear and distract us from the real work of our city,” he wrote. “Stay away, please.”

Weeks ago, a convoy of armed pro-Trump counter-demonstrators entered the city and one, Aaron “Jay” Danielson, was fatally shot in clashes with protesters. U.S. marshals announced last week that a suspect in Danielson’s death, Michael Forest Reinoehl, was killed.

In a separate incident on Saturday night, police said 27 people were arrested after an unlawful assembly was declared while demonstrators marched toward the Portland Police Association building.

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Hundreds Protesters

Hundreds of protesters gather against new flu vaccine mandate in Massachusetts – ABC News

Demonstrators argued that getting the flu vaccine should be a choice.

August 31, 2020, 12:35 AM

6 min read

Hundreds of people gathered Sunday to protest a new flu vaccine mandate for Massachusetts students, enacted as school districts prepare to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic.

At the demonstration in front of the Massachusetts State House in Boston, protesters — some of them children — held signs that read “Unavoidably unsafe,” “My child, my choice,” “Parents call the shots” and “I am not a threat.” “No forced shots” was written in chalk in front of the statehouse. Many demonstrators were not wearing masks or social distancing, according to photos and videos taken of the event.

The protest follows an Aug. 19 announcement from state officials that influenza immunization will be required for all children ages 6 months or older who are attending Massachusetts child care, pre-school, kindergarten, and K-12. Full-time undergraduate and graduate students under 30 and all full and part-time health science students attending school in the state must also get the vaccine.

Several protesters said that the flu shot should be a choice — an argument frequently used against mask mandates, including in schools — due to the pandemic.

“The flu vaccine should not be a mandate. It should be a choice,” Jessica Marchant told ABC Boston affiliate WCVB.

Other protesters told the station they believe state officials are “taking advantage” of the fear caused by the virus.

“I think parents are vulnerable right now. They need their kids to go to school and they backed us into a corner,” Taryn Proulx told WCVB. “We feel like we have to just comply or rearrange our whole lives and homeschool our children.”

The mandate comes as experts are bracing for what some have called a “twindemic” of COVID-19 and the flu. Children are more vulnerable to the seasonal flu than COVID-19, medical experts told ABC News. Those under 5 years old are at the highest risk of developing serious flu-related complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It is more important now than ever to get a flu vaccine because flu symptoms are very similar to those of COVID-19 and preventing the flu will save lives and preserve health care resources,” Dr. Larry Madoff, medical director of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences, said in a statement announcing the flu requirement.

Under the mandate, students must now receive the vaccine annually by Dec. 31. Medical or religious exemptions are allowed. Home-schooled or off-campus college students are also exempt. Elementary and secondary students who are remote are not exempt.

A majority of school districts in the state, including Boston, plan to reopen in the coming weeks with hybrid learning, according to an analysis by WCVB.

Massachusetts has some of the highest vaccination rates in the country. During the 2018-2019 flu season, 81% of children ages 6 months to 17 years and 53.5% of adults got the vaccine, according to the CDC.

Massachusetts is the first state to mandate the flu vaccine for all children and joins a handful of states that already require it for child care and/or preschool enrollees, according to research by the Immunization Action Coalition.

What to know about the coronavirus:

  • How it started and how to protect yourself: Coronavirus explained
  • What to do if you have symptoms: Coronavirus symptoms
  • Tracking the spread in the U.S. and worldwide: Coronavirus map
  • Tune into ABC at 1 p.m. ET and ABC News Live at 4 p.m. ET every weekday for special coverage of the novel coronavirus with the full ABC News team, including the latest news, context and analysis.

    ABC News

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    crowd Protesters

    Protesters crowd Minsk as Belarus leader gets birthday call from Putin – Reuters

    (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of Belarusians chanting “Happy Birthday, you rat” and flying red-and-white opposition flags gathered near President Alexander Lukashenko’s residence on Sunday as protesters kept up pressure on the veteran leader to resign.

    Lukashenko, who turned 66 on Sunday, is struggling to contain weeks of protests and strikes since winning an Aug. 9 election his opponents say was rigged. He denies electoral fraud and has said the protests are backed from abroad.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin used a birthday phone call to invite Lukashenko to visit Moscow, a sign of the Kremlin’s willingness to back Lukashenko as he grapples with the unrest and the threat of new Western sanctions.

    Protesters streamed into central Minsk, carrying balloons, flowers and flags, in the afternoon. Belarus had a white-red-white flag for a brief period in the early 1990s and it has become a symbol of its anti-government protests.

    Passing cars honked their horns in solidarity. Some women lay down in protest in front of a cordon of helmeted security forces.

    Protesters then converged on Lukashenko’s residence, which was guarded by security forces carrying shields, and water canon and prisoner vans. A column of armoured military vehicles was seen driving towards the city centre, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported.

    Police made sporadic detentions throughout the day, bundling people into prisoner vans. At least 125 people were detained, Russia’s RIA news agency quoted the interior ministry as saying. Some protesters resisted arrest by what appeared to be plain-clothes officers, a witness said.

    Earlier on Sunday, video footage shared by local media showed women dressed in traditional dress laying several pumpkins in front of the main government building, a folk custom intended to signal the rejection of a suitor.

    One of the country’s largest mobile operators, A1, said it had reduced the capacity of mobile internet bandwidth at the government’s request.

    Belarus is Russia’s closest ex-Soviet ally and its territory is an integral part of Moscow’s European defence strategy. Nevertheless, Lukashenko is seen in Moscow as a prickly partner.

    Slideshow (5 Images)

    In the biggest sign yet of Russia’s willingness to intervene to prop up Lukashenko, Putin said on Thursday the Kremlin had set up a “reserve police force” at Lukashenko’s request, although it would be deployed only if necessary.

    “It was agreed to hold a meeting in Moscow in the coming weeks,” the Kremlin said in a statement after the leaders’ call on Sunday.

    The European Union is gearing up to impose new sanctions on Belarus. Lukashenko, in office for 26 years, threatened on Friday to cut off European transit routes across his country in retaliation.

    Additional reporting by Maria Kiselyova in Moscow; Writing by Matthias Williams; Editing by Frances Kerry and Nick Macfie

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    Belarus Protesters

    Belarus protesters and police clash for third night as EU threatens sanctions – The Guardian

    Protesters have clashed with riot police for the third night running in cities across Belarus as the European Union threatened to reimpose sanctions over suspected vote-rigging and a violent crackdow…
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    Police Protesters

    Police, protesters clash after Belarus presidential vote – Fox News

    In a country where crackdowns on dissent are routine, Belarus police and protesters clashed in the capital Minsk and the city of Brest Sunday night over rising discontent with the authoritarian rule of the country’s longtime leader, who recently sought a sixth term.

    Sunday’s vote in the ex-Soviet nation pitted President Alexander Lukashenko, who has held an iron grip on Belarus since 1994, against four others. The campaign has generated the country’s biggest opposition protests in years. Opposition supporters say they suspect election officials will manipulate the results of Sunday’s vote to give the 65-year-old Lukashenko a sixth term.

    Demonstrators run away from police as they gather to protest against a result of the Belarusian presidential election in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Aug. 9, 2src2src. Police and protesters clashed in Belarus' capital and the major city of Brest on Sunday after the presidential election in which the authoritarian leader who has ruled for a quarter-century sought a sixth term in office. 

    Demonstrators run away from police as they gather to protest against a result of the Belarusian presidential election in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020. Police and protesters clashed in Belarus’ capital and the major city of Brest on Sunday after the presidential election in which the authoritarian leader who has ruled for a quarter-century sought a sixth term in office. 

    The head of the Central Elections Commission, Lidia Yermoshina, said early Monday that partial results from some regions showed Lukashenko with a crushing lead, getting more than 90% of the vote in some districts.

    Lukashenko himself was defiant as he voted earlier on Sunday.

    “If you provoke, you will get the same answer,” he said. “Do you want to try to overthrow the government, break something, wound, offend, and expect me or someone to kneel in front of you and kiss them and the sand onto which you wandered? This will not happen.”


    Police block a road and use smoke grenades during a protest after the Belarusian presidential election in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Aug. 9, 2src2src. Belarus police and protesters clashed in the capital and the city of Brest Sunday night after a presidential election in which the country's longtime leader sought a sixth term despite rising discontent with his authoritarian rule and his cavalier dismissal of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Police block a road and use smoke grenades during a protest after the Belarusian presidential election in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020. Belarus police and protesters clashed in the capital and the city of Brest Sunday night after a presidential election in which the country’s longtime leader sought a sixth term despite rising discontent with his authoritarian rule and his cavalier dismissal of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Belarusians have been weary of the country’s deteriorating economy as well as the president’s cavalier dismissal of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Police presence in Minsk was heavy throughout the day and in the evening police set up checkpoints on the city’s perimeter to check residence permits, apparently worried that protesters would come from other cities.


    Protesters shout

    Protesters shout “Go away!” as they gather after the Belarusian presidential election in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020. Belarus police and protesters clashed in the capital and the city of Brest Sunday night after a presidential election in which the country’s longtime leader sought a sixth term despite rising discontent with his authoritarian rule and his cavalier dismissal of the coronavirus pandemic.

    About 1,000 protesters gathered near the obelisk honoring Minsk as a World War II “hero city,” where police clashed with them, beating some with truncheons and later using flash-bang grenades to try to disperse them. Protesters later tried to build barricades with trash containers.

    Protests also broke out in the major cities of Brest, Gomel, Grodno and Vitebsk and police fired tear gas at the demonstrators in Brest, news reports said.


    There was no official information on the number of arrests or people injured, but Ales Bilyatsky of the Viasna human rights group told The Associated Press that he believed there were several hundred.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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    Portland Protesters

    Portland protesters clash with law enforcement for first time since federal presence diminished | TheHill – The Hill

    Two protesters were arrested Saturday evening in Portland, Ore., as demonstrators and law enforcement clashed for the first time in several days.

    The Associated Press reported that a confrontation between protesters and law enforcement occurred near a precinct for the Portland Police Bureau and Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. Officers alleged they were struck with glass bottles and had laser pointers aimed in their direction. No officers were injured, including one who was struck with a canister of paint, according to the AP.

    Police reportedly declared an unlawful assembly just before 10 p.m. local time and ordered crowds to disperse.

    Across town a separate, peaceful demonstration hosted by the NAACP and attended by Oregon Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyNew York police confirm arrest of protester in unmarked van Overnight Defense: Guardsman to testify Lafayette Square clearing was ‘unprovoked escalation’ | Dems push for controversial Pentagon nominee to withdraw | Watchdog says Pentagon not considering climate change risks to contractors Democrats urge controversial Pentagon policy nominee to withdraw MORE (D) was held outside the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse. Speakers talked about political progress arising from the weeks of demonstrations in the city and others across the U.S.

    “The next thing we need you to do is vote like your life depends on it, because guess what, it does,” Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty told demonstrators at the courthouse, according to the AP.

    Demonstrations in the city have largely remained peaceful over the last several days as the federal law enforcement presence began withdrawing from city streets. 

    City officials and state leaders had sharply criticized the Trump administration’s decision to deploy agents from the Department of Homeland Security to Portland, accusing federal law enforcement of inflaming tensions in the city. Images and videos posted on social media that showed federal agents wearing unmarked uniforms detaining protesters off the street in the city had sparked outrage last month.

    Protests against racism and police brutality have continued for months in numerous American cities following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody in late May. One white officer is charged with second-degree murder in Floyd’s case.

    Updated at 8 p.m.

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    Anti-mask Protesters

    Anti-mask protesters’ new weapon: wearing masks that offer no COVID-19 protection – WTHR

    Face masks made of mesh, crochet (yarn) or lace are now popular items being offered by online retailers.

    INDIANAPOLIS — As more communities and businesses adopt mandatory mask orders, supporters of an “anti-mask” movement are looking to make a statement. They are wearing masks that cover their nose and mouth but provide no ability to slow the spread of disease.

    “I wore a mask that is designed for protecting your face in a paintball battle. You can easily breathe through it. I walked all around the store, talked to employees, and other shoppers, and every one of them could see my mouth,” said a Florida man who posted a video showing him wearing a mesh mask to a Tampa Walmart. “It was almost like not wearing a mask at all. Nobody cared. That’s because it’s not about safety. It’s all about compliance.”

    Other social media posts show anti-mask advocates wearing mesh masks intended to comply with the letter – but not the spirit – of municipal and corporate rules mandating face coverings.

    And masks made of mesh, crochet (yarn) or lace are now popular items being offered by internet retailers. Most include warnings stating the items “are NOT intended for protection or COVID use.” But protection is not what anti-mask protesters are looking for.

    “Make your own Anti Mask!” said the seller of a pattern to create your own anti-mask. The description of the product states: “Stylish, breathable and don’t protect you from a darn thing! Masks required? No problem! Breath free while making a statement.”

    “NO law requires a specific type or particulate rating of mask,” said one protestor, posting a photo of a woman wearing a mesh face covering. “This is about compliance, not safety.”

    The public health officials and doctors recently interviewed by 13News disagree.

    “Masks absolutely work. They’re not perfect. They’re not the only measure you need to take to keep this virus under control but they’re very effective and they’re very simple,” said Dr. Christopher Belcher, who serves as the infection prevention medical director at Ascension St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis.

    “The most important thing they do is if you’re coughing, sneezing, singing, they contain all of those little droplets of saliva or mucus that come out of your nose and mouth, and keep them right there from spreading to other people,” Belcher added.

    Earlier this month, 13 Investigates and the IU Health Pathology Lab tested different kinds of masks. The test showed even very inexpensive masks are highly effective in preventing the spread of germs linked to viruses.

    The science has prompted many cities and states to impose orders requiring face coverings in public places. (Indianapolis currently has a public order in effect but the state of Indiana does not.) Companies like Costco have been requiring customers to wear masks for months, and more businesses recently announced they will require face coverings, too. Walmart and Kroger, two of the largest retail/grocery corporations in the nation, will begin implementing mask requirements for customers next week.

    The growing trend seems to be causing growing frustration among anti-mask advocates, who have been voicing their dissent at municipal buildings, statehouses and in online forums – and by wearing mesh masks intended to offer protest rather than COVID-19 protection.

    Belcher says he does not mind people protesting over masks, as long as those protests are not putting others in danger.

    “I need your help with this to keep from spreading the infection so the hospitals don’t get overrun,” he told 13News. “If you’re going to go to the trouble of wearing a mask, please wear one that’s going to do something for other people. I don’t care if you write ‘NO’ on it. I don’t care if you have a t-shirt that says ‘I don’t want to wear this mask,’ but I need you to wear the mask. It’s an important thing for our health.”

    Trend data released Thursday afternoon by the Regenstrief Institute shows positive COVID-19 cases, emergency room visits and deaths related to the coronavirus are all increasing in Indiana. That’s why health officials continue to emphasize the importance of wearing a mask.

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    Protesters statues

    Protesters tear down statues from Confederate monuments in DC and North Carolina – CNN

    (CNN)A protester climbed up and wrapped a strap around the neck of a statue on a Confederate monument in North Carolina and pulled it down.

    A second statue on the other side of the monument was also pulled down, according to footage taken by CNN affiliate WRAL on Friday. The statues were at the state capitol in Raleigh. Protesters then marched down the street and hung both statues from a light post on the street.
    In Washington, DC, protesters toppled a statue of Albert Pike in the Judiciary Square neighborhood, according to CNN affiliate WJLA. Pike was a senior officer of the Confederate States Army.
    These are the latest incidents of Confederate monuments getting removed nationwide in the wake of the George Floyd protests. Protesters in some cases and city leaders in others have taken down contentious statues, which some people say mark history and honor heritage while others argue they are racist symbols of America’s dark legacy of slavery. While some cities have made efforts to remove them, others have passed laws to protect them.
    A crowd gathered in the Atlanta suburb of Decatur Thursday night to watch the removal of a Confederate monument after the city argued it’d become a threat to public safety during recent protests. A judge ordered it removed and placed in storage until further notice.
    As a large crane pulled down the obelisk just before midnight Thursday, people chanted, “Take it down! Take it down!” Others applauded.
    Floyd’s death during an arrest by a White police officer ignited protests against racism and police brutality. The 46-year-old Black man died on May 25 in Minneapolis in an incident captured on video.
    Just this month alone, a series of statues have been removed, including Christopher Columbus, another controversial figure in US history. Some Christopher Columbus statues have been tampered with — one thrown into a lake, one beheaded, and another pulled to the ground.

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