Minneapolis riots are fuelled by fear with a long American ...


Minneapolis riots are fuelled by fear with a long American history

ANALYSIS | George Floyd’s death was the spark, but unrest is rooted in anxiety over jobs, food, housing and healthcare

Kathleen Burk

The riots in Minneapolis and dozens of other towns and cities in the US are alarming, to people in those areas and to the wider American population. The case of George Floyd has reminded those who needed reminding that his death is one in a long line of black men killed by white men.

But the riots themselves are part of a history in the US of popular protest, against violence, segregation, war, bad housing, poverty and joblessness. The riots are part of an American tradition of protesting in the streets, even during the period of the revolution.

Older Americans remember the 1960s, a period of incessant and violent clashes between communities and the police. They were not all about race relations. This was the period of anti-Vietnam War protests, primarily by university students but also by older people. The Democratic national convention in Chicago in August 1968 saw a police riot, with running battles between thousands of students gathering in a park close to the convention and the Chicago police, all caught on television...

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