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George Floyd death: curfews fail to deter a new wave of protests across US

  • George Floyd death: curfews fail to deter a new wave of protests across US
    President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that the United States will designate Antifa as a terrorist organization George Floyd death: curfews fail to deter a new wave of protests across US
Region:
USA
Category:
Society
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By EFE
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President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that the United States will designate Antifa as a terrorist organization, even though the US government has no existing legal authority to label a wholly domestic group in the manner it currently designates foreign terrorist organizations.

Violence has erupted in cities across the US on the sixth night of protests sparked by the death in police custody of African-American George Floyd.

Curfews have been imposed in nearly 40 cities, but people have largely ignored them, leading to tense stand-offs.

Riot police clashed with protesters in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, firing tear gas and pepper bullets to try to disperse the crowds.

Police vehicles were set on fire and shops were looted in several cities.

The National Guard - the US reserve military force for domestic emergencies - said on Sunday that 5,000 of its personnel had been activated in 15 states and Washington, DC, where crowds once again gathered near the White House, this time lighting fires and throwing stones at riot officers.

"State and local law enforcement agencies remain responsible for security," the National Guard added.

Police in Washington DC have fired tear gas at demonstrators who set fire to properties near the White House. They include a historic church, St John's Episcopal Church, known as the church of the presidents, near the White House.

It has emerged that in Friday night's unrest, President Donald Trump was briefly taken by the secret service into an underground bunker at the White House, for his safety.

President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that the United States will designate Antifa as a terrorist organization, even though the US government has no existing legal authority to label a wholly domestic group in the manner it currently designates foreign terrorist organizations.

Current and former government officials say it would be unconstitutional for the US government to proscribe First Amendment-protected activity inside the US based on simple ideology. US law allows terrorist designations for foreign groups since belonging to those groups doesn't enjoy the same protections.
Antifa, short for anti-fascists, describes a broad group of people whose political beliefs lean toward the left -- often the far left -- but do not conform with the Democratic Party platform.
Antifa positions can be hard to define, but many members support oppressed populations and protest the amassing of wealth by corporations and elites. Some employ radical or militant tactics to get out their messages.
An additional problem with the President's claim is that groups who identify as Antifa are amorphous and don't have a central leadership, though some local activists are highly organized, according to federal law enforcement officials. That has made it difficult for US law enforcement to deal with violence from members of groups that label themselves as Antifa.