The first Monday in September is as symbolic as it is historic in the United States in the sense that it is Labor Day. Americans are also enjoying a long weekend, eight weeks before the US presidential election, in the midst of an election campaign marked by strong tensions between the two camps on the issue of racism.
A Labor Day in hot weekend under the sign of demonstrations
This year it will be marked by protests throughout the long weekend, with some rallies supporting US President Donald Trump, while others will continue against racial inequality and police violence across the United States.
In Louisville, Kentucky, a Breonna Taylor memorial march will take place outside Churchill Downs Racecourse on Saturday as a non-spectator derby takes place inside. Taylor is the 26-year-old black medical worker killed in her sleep on March 13 by Louisville police who broke into her apartment with guns mistaking her for someone else. His death, alongside that of George Floyd, a black man who died in May after a white Minneapolis policeman knelt on his neck, helped spark one of the largest protests in the history of the country, with almost daily demonstrations in cities since then.
Trump supporters staged rallies for the weekend. In Georgia they will decorate their vehicles with flags and Americans and will loop around Atlanta on Interstate 285 to “show our love and pride for our country and its president,” organizers said.
A gathering called RefuseFascism.org said it arranged fights in 23 urban areas on Saturday, considering Trump’s activities a type of autocracy that would compound whenever chose for a subsequent term. “Since the denunciation, Trump has progressively announced himself to be exempt from the rules that everyone else follows and to be simply the law,” said Coco Das, who distinguished herself as the gathering’s representative.
Nationwide protests came to the fore in Trump’s re-election campaign for the US presidential election on November 3. This week, Trump, and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, former senator, and vice president, traveled to Kenosha, Wisconsin. The Midwestern town was the scene of clashes between protesters, police, and militia after police shot dead Jacob Blake, a black painter, in the back seven times at the close range, leaving his legs paralyzed for life.
Biden met Blake’s family and spoke to Blake on the phone and expressed his sympathy to those protesting police violence with the rallying cry “Black Lives Matter”. Trump, for his part, has visited damaged businesses, decried what he calls “lawless” protesters, and defended the police service as defenders of “law and order”, while refusing to condemn the armed right-wing vigilantes who have been accused of attacking and even killing protesters in Kenosha.
A bit like to rekindle tensions, US President Donald Trump has ordered the removal of anti-racism training provided in the federal administration, which he says constitutes “divisive and anti-American propaganda,” the White House announced on Friday.