‘We are a tinderbox’: Political violence is ramping up, experts warn
Tension rose across the US when two black men were lynched in the Deep South, and now a growing number of cities across the country are reporting violent street protests. The violence is most pronounced in minority communities but is also sweeping the white community. Here’s a look at what’s been going on, and what’s likely to happen next.
In the aftermath of the mass lynching of two black men in the Deep South 50 years ago, an adage began to circulate: “Things are going to get so much worse before they get so much better.”
It seems to have become true in the case of the current waves of racist violence.
In June 2017, a New York City police officer and black man were beaten to death in front of a police station. The following month, a mob of black people attacked and lynched a white man in Texas, causing more than $100m (€85m) of damage. Both cases involved the apparent involvement of gangs of racist vigilantes, who are increasingly believed to be behind these attacks.
The US state of Louisiana is set to host its first-ever race festival, featuring speeches by politicians (including Donald Trump), politicians’ relatives, artists, and members of the Ku Klux Klan. And protests are spreading across the US and around the world.
A protester holds up a banner protesting the Charlottesville rally Read more
What happened in Charlottesville
The Virginia Unite the Right rally, held in reaction to the removal of a US pro-democracy group’s statue dedicated to slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, was marred by outbreaks of race hatred, violence, and racial tension.
The rally, which began with a torch-lit march through a predominantly black neighbourhood, eventually expanded into a far-right rally, with “alt-right” participants chanting “Blood and soil!” and Nazi salutes.
Within hours of the event beginning, a car ploughed into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one person and nearly killing another.
Charlottesville’s downtown is now swarming with protesters and counter-protesters Read more
The attack came as police were still investigating the case of a woman hit by a car. It sparked the largest protests during the US’s national reckoning with racism in a generation,