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    July 09

  • 12:51 AM

Black Lives marches continue for 12th day

REUTERS,

Added 06 June 2020

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Demonstrators hold placards as they stand behind a fence at Lafayette Park in front of the White House during 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)

WASHINGTON – Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in Washington and other U.S. cities on Saturday to demand an end to racism and brutality by U.S. law enforcement as protests over the killing of a black man by Minneapolis police entered a 12th day.

The protest in the nation’s capital was shaping up as the largest of the marches seen this week in cities and smaller towns nationwide, as well as in countries around the world. It coincided with a second memorial service for George Floyd, 46, who died on May 25 after a Minneapolis policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

His killing, recorded in excruciating detail on a bystander’s cellphone, has led to a wave of protests and national soul-searching over the country’s legacy of violence and mistreatment of African Americans and other minorities.

Local media has forecast that tens of thousands would turn out in the U.S. capital, despite the risks still posed by the coronavirus, which ravaged the country over the past two months and still presents a deadly threat, according to health experts. Official estimates of the number of protesters were unavailable.

As in previous days, the protests in cities from Los Angeles and Chicago to New York and Washington involved a series of loosely organised marches.

In the nation’s capital, thousands gathered at the Lincoln Memorial and elsewhere before converging on the White House. A moving throng of people marched past the George Washington University Hospital chanting “Hands up, Don’t shoot!” “We March for hope, not for hate,” and “I can’t breathe!”

That last chant echoed protests from New York in 2014, when Eric Garner died in police custody after an officer used a banned chokehold on him. Garner and Floyd are part of a long line of black men and women killed by white officers.

The second memorial service for Floyd was held in a North Carolina town where he was born. Hundreds lined up at a church in Raeford to pay their respects during a public viewing, and a private service for the family was conducted later in the day.

Floyd’s first memorial was held on Friday in Minneapolis. His funeral is scheduled on Tuesday in Houston.

In New York, a large crowd of protesters crossed the Brooklyn Bridge into lower Manhattan on Saturday afternoon, marching up a deserted Broadway, where many of the shops were boarded up, according to social media posts.

Thousands of others gathered in Harlem near the northwest corner of Central Park to march downtown, about 100 blocks, to the city’s Washington Square Park. (Reuters)

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