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We Can’t Breathe

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever

George Orwell
from 1984

It is not the first and will not be the last. It has happened too many times now, and it’s still happening. Maybe even at this very moment, in some corner where there are no prying phones around.

Footage of George Floyd’s arrest not only shows the devastating agony of a 46-year-old black man whose survival is decided by an authorized power, but the agony of the power of a whole world reduced to reacting to abuses just by discreetly opposing the lens of a phone — in the constant hope that something can change that way. Through that video, and George’s sacrifice, maybe we really realized we cannot breathe anymore. We’re all in this together.

In This Together – Tim Eagan
Protesters held up their hands and shouted “I can’t breathe!”, Floyd’s last words before his death – Photo: AP
Massive crowds flooded the streets of Minneapolis on Tuesday night – Photo: AP
Police officers launched tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators – Photo: CBS
I Had a Dream – Zapiro

Right after it happened, on Tuesday night, hundreds of people congregated in the streets of Minneapolis in the protest of the death of George. The four officers involved were swiftly fired, and an FBI investigation has been opened, but no charges have been filed. The protesters gathered at the intersection where police had handcuffed George and pinned him to to the ground the day before, reportedly on a tip that he matched the description of someone who’d allegedly forged a check at a supermarket.

The incident report claims that George — who was found unarmed and sitting in his car before cops ordered him to step out — physically resisted arrest, but footage of the altercation shows a crowd of people and George himself begging responding officers to stop using force against him. After several minutes, he appears to become unresponsive. The demonstrators hoisted signs reading “I can’t breathe” and “jail killer KKKops,” and called for the officers involved to be prosecuted.

George Floyd selfie

George was known as a “gentle giant” to friends and family who say he never made an enemy. He worked in security and as a truck driver. He had two daughters, ages 6 and 22. And on Sunday, he was scheduled to meet with his friend to talk about getting involved with MAD DADS — Men Against Destruction Defending Against Drugs and Social Disorder — but he couldn’t make it. The next day, George was dead

Many artists and celebrities have shown their indignation — Madonna published the entire video of the aggression, commenting it with a “F*ck the Police” on Instagram — and wanted to leave a tribute through their social networks. Every corner of the world joined in condolence under the hashtag #icantbreath.

An Official George Floyd Memorial Fund has been organized by George’s sister Philonise at www.gofundme.com, to cover funeral and burial expenses and to assist Floyd family in the days to come, as they continue to seek justice for George.

I Can’t Breathe – Shirien
I Can’t Breathe – Nikkolas Smith
I Can’t Breathe – Allie Laing
I Can’t Breathe – Unknown
I Can’t Breathe – Kevin King
I Can’t Breathe – ZANE
I Can’t Breathe – Rampicanti Storti
I Can’t Breathe – David Eusebio
I Can’t Breathe – Fabio Magnasciutti
I Can’t Breathe – DNG Creative
I Can’t Breathe – Ed Hall
I Can’t Breathe – Shy The Artist
I Can’t Breathe – Malak Mattar
The Suffocation of Democracy – Prenzy
I Can’t Breathe – Angelo Ruta
I Can’t Breathe – Hippy Potter
A White Problem – Banksy
Someone’s Son, Someone’s Brother, Someone’s Friend… Someone – Sam Hogg
I Can’t Breathe – Alberto Gonzalez
I Can’t Breathe – Matt Hong
I Can’t Breathe – Nougat
I Can’t Breathe – Strati di Blu
I Can’t Breathe – Ariel Sinha
I Can’t Breathe – Be A Heart

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