Outside protestors and agent provocateurs causing confusion for all
By King Lars
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Minneapolis has experienced four nights of consecutive protests and riots in retaliation to the death of George Floyd, who was killed by Minnesota police officer David Chauvin on Monday, May 25th, after Chauvin unrelentingly pushed his knee into Floyd’s neck, despite the man’s cries that he was unable to breathe.
“I can’t breathe” has become the unofficial motto of these protests, as the community comes together in order to revolt against an unfair status quo that fails to take the lives of black Americans seriously.
Despite their intention, these protests have become increasingly violent, with multiple precincts being burned down, stores being looted, and some even being killed.
In Minneapolis, the situation has become so dire that the mayor has called in the National Guard, and President Trump has indicated that he is willing to deploy the armed forces if the insurrections don’t come to an end.
Protests and riots have erupted across the country, taking over multiple American cities this weekend, including Chicago, Atlanta, and Houston.
When protesters are interviewed by the press, they offer insightful and even inspiring explanations for engaging in protest. The true meaning of these demonstrations is to honor the spirit of George Floyd and reject the social circumstances that allowed for his unfair and sudden death.
Even with these well-meaning protests, in most cases, they have turned into violent riots that ultimately led to the destruction of their cities.
There have been many questions posed online about who has been causing these protests to turn violent. Of course, those on the web have formulated many conspiracies and theories about who is at fault for the riots, and imaginations have run wild with the seeming disintegration of American life on the backs of the forced closure of the coronavirus pandemic and now the tumultuous riots related to George Floyd’s death.
According to Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey, he believes that “we are now confronting white supremacists, members of organized crime, out-of-state instigators, and possibly even foreign actors to destroy and destabilize our city and our region.”
The idea that these riots are the result of foreign intervention shouldn’t be discounted, despite what popular narratives may indicate. It would be to the benefit of American rivals to take advantage of the chaos and stoke the flames of discord that are currently burning strong across major cities in the United States.
The statistics show a trend of outside involvement in these protests. In the Twin Cities, 80% of those arrested were from outside the city, and a reported 40 people arrested were involved with organized crime or white supremacist groups.
A common trope online involves allegations that law enforcement agents are to blame for the protests turning violent. People are claiming that those associated with the police are infiltrating the protests and instigating violence.
The now infamous umbrella man was sighted in Minneapolis. Emerging in a viral video, the man, holding a hammer in one hand and an umbrella in the other, was dawned in black clothing. The umbrella man bashed out the windows of the Autozone that was later burned to the ground.
Protesters involved in the scene suspected the man wasn’t involved in the demonstration and called him out, questioning: “Are you a fucking cop?”
However, umbrella’s are a common tactic to avoid tear gas, and there is no evidence at this time linking the umbrella man to any police department.
Another telling video shows two mask-clad protestors coming across a pile of bricks neatly piled in the streets. The protesters comment on how suspect these potential weapons seem, claiming that it is “a set-up.” Moves like these seem to set the scene for violent actions within these protests, and the instigators are hiding amongst the chaos.
The specter of outside involvement persists in other protests nationwide. The demonstration in Atlanta was primarily attended by local residents of Brunswick. However, at 7 p.m., protesters in Atlanta were joined by people with more ulterior motives. To the surprise of some, the CNN building was vandalized. While there is a small Atlanta Police Department located in the establishment, at this point it is believed that the movement had been subjugated by outside forces.
There are some sources claiming that white supremacists are responsible for the destruction. Notably, many of the people rioting who have been cited in majority-black cities, such as Oakland, have been white. In Houston, police Art Acevedo claimed that most of the agitators in the Friday protest were also white and unconnected with the demonstrations. Acevedo also suggested that the instigators may have been from out of town.
While there is a growing online fascination with the alt-right and the coming “boogaloo” — or civil war — it should be stated that the majority of Antifa anarcho-punks are also white. It’s much more likely that the white participants in these riots are affiliated with anarchist organizations and not far-right groups.
Whether these riots are the result of homegrown anger, white supremacist organizations, or foreign intervention, the fact remains that there has been a proclivity for violence amongst the protests. It may take time to truly discern the cause, but ultimately, the people are angry, and they aren’t here to take the injustice anymore.