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Playing with fire

Protests against racism continued over the weekend in a number of cities across the United States, now antagonized by President Donald Trump's decision to send federal forces to suppress and detain protesters -- only adding fuel to the fire.

In Portland, Oregon, more than 50 days of marches in rejection of racism and police brutality, with tens of thousands of people confronting federal agents guarding the Palace of Justice.

People threw fireworks, bottles and rocks at the building and officers responded with pepper spray, tear gas and rubber bullets.

A similar scenario occurred in the city of Seattle and a dozen other cities, while at least two judges refused to order the withdrawal of the feds, or prohibit the use of toxic tear gas.

The president stoked the fire by describing those who participate in the marches as "unruly" and "terrorists," and calls on police to use all the necessary force to stop them.

He also accuses protesters of spreading the COVID-19 virus.  Trump seems to have forgotten that he himself has organized public events, and the attendees were not required to use any means of protection.

The UN Human Rights Office denounced the harsh tactics and discriminatory treatment exerted by federal agents against unarmed civilians and journalists who covered the events.

According to spokeswoman Elizabeth Throssell, the protests must develop in a peaceful way and the participants should not be afraid of physical assault or arbitrary detentions.  Referring to the practice of arresting anyone without any specific reason, putting them into unmarked vehicles and taking them to an unknown direction, violating laws and human rights.

Throssell said that victims of the American police abuse of power should have the right to "rapid, independent, impartial and transparent investigations.”

The words of the former defense secretary General Jim Mattis now come to mind when he stated that Trump is the first president of United States that doesn’t seek to unite society, and does not even pretend to do so.  Instead, he divides more and more and has been trying to do that for three years now.

Without a doubt, the White House is dangerously playing with fire.

Edited by Ed Newman
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