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Black Out

Minneapolis Night – Photo: Julio Cortez

Tuesday has just been a new opportunity for many to come together in a single embrace of solidarity with the cause of African Americans, after the death of George Floyd. The initiative was attended by musicians, actors, major museums, social media companies and ordinary users who, by blacking their pages and stopping online activity, wanted to make their closeness feel to the protests that are inflaming the cities of the United States in these days, under the hashtags #blackouttuesday and #theshowmustbepaused.

There’s been no lack of dissent among the fans who criticised the move for being reductive and, in some cases, accused their favourites of simply making propaganda or taking advantage of the entire situation to promote their new projects. One of the most attacked pages was certainly the one dedicated to the A Clockwork Orange movie, which through its adhesion has given way to many fans to be surprised and realize — or at least to ask themselves — for the first time, what their all-time favorite movie was really about. There were many who, disappointed, have chosen to unfollow.

A Clockwork Orange and Radiohead Facebook Pages Blacked
Protesters gather near the makeshift memorial in honor of George Floyd in Minneapolis – Photo: AP
I Have a Dream/I Can’t Breathe – Mathieu Persan
This is a Protest/This is a Crime (1965/2020)

The shares of a collage that compares an image of a 1965 march led by Martin Luther King captioned as “this is a protest”, with an image of black people vandalizing a store captioned as “this is a crime”, were rather very successful in these days. The same thematic has been raised in the descriptions and comments to the images of the buildings burned in Minneapolis — including a police station — on the same day of the death of George Floyd.

In the meantime, while George’s family has hired their own pathologist after the official autopsy claimed he did not die of strangulation or asphyxiation — the preliminary results of the county’s autopsy suggest he died from a combination of heart disease and “potential intoxicants in his system” that were exacerbated by the restraint placed on him by police officers — and cop Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on Friday, demonstrations over the death of George have continued and escalated in recent days, as protesters show support for the Black Lives Matter movement and speak out against police brutality.

An NYPD officer and protester come face-to-face during protests in New York City on Saturday – Photo: Adam Gray/SWNS
A burning building in Minneapolis – Photo: Twitter
A liquor store on fire in Minneapolis, on Thursday – Photo: Jordan Strowder/Anadolu Agency
A protester vents at a line of Tucson police officers in riot gear at Cushing Street and Church Avenue early on Saturday, May 30, 2020, in Tucson, Arizona – Photo: Josh Galemore/Arizona Daily Star via Associated Press
A man poses for photos in front of a fire at an AutoZone store in Minneapolis – Photo: Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune via AP
Police stop a driver at gunpoint after he was swerving onto the sidewalks in the SoHo shopping district of New York following a rally to protest police brutality Sunday, May 31, 2020 – Photo: Wong Maye-E/AP
A protester in an Elmo mask dances during the Justice for George Floyd Philadelphia Protest on Saturday, May 30, 2020 – Photo: Matt Rourke
A White Problem – Banksy

Chaos in the streets of Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Cincinnati, where people dance and destroy. Multiple stores were looted in Manhattan East Village and NoHo — undercover cops would storm out of nowhere to tackle some rioters, while many police chasing looters and tackling to the ground in at least one instance pulling out taser.

From Portland police taking a knee to a Maryland lieutenant reading names of police brutality victims, some officers listened and marched alongside George protesters, even if their gestures, besides moving, are still viewed with suspicion. A man wielding a machete was beaten by protesters in Dallas on Saturday night. Police said he was trying to “allegedly protect his neighborhood from protesters”.

A man wielding a machete to “protect his neighborhood” was beaten by protesters in Dallas on Saturday night – Photo: Twitter

A great blackout. After seeing the harrowing images of George death, that feeling of empathy now already seems to be polluted with attention-seeking and a big confusion of ideas, especially in those who are not directly involved. All as always fomented by the now omnipresent shadow of politics.

Here is the cry of a black girl with her head down, hands in the hands of a military man, rising very high on the fuss of the media, the supporters of “the right way” to protest, all those for whom “all lives matter” and all the Internet chains of solidarity, letting them melt like the stores and the buildings in these American nights:

“People may not understand the anger that we feel. People may not understand the situation that they handle.”

A protester stares down a Cincinnati police officer in riot gear during a march against police brutality on Saturday, May 30, 2020, in Cincinnati – Photo: Sam Greene/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP
A man jumps on the roof of a police car in Los Angeles – Photo: AP
Flames rise from a Los Angeles Police Department kiosk in The Grove shopping center during a protest over the death of George Floyd, Saturday, May 30, 2020 – Photo: Mark J. Terrill via AP

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