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"You have changed the world": poignant tribute ceremony for George Floyd

By AFP | June 5th 2020 at 08:48:23 GMT +0300

Reverend Al Sharpton (l) at the ceremony honoring George Floyd on June 4, 2020 in Minneapolis. [AFP / Kerem Yucel]

"You have changed the world George": the American leader of the civil rights Al Sharpton delivered Thursday during a ceremony in homage to George Floyd a moving eulogy funeral, with political accents tinged with sadness but also of hope for a better world , with the promise to "continue the fight".

Demonstrations, very generally peaceful and organized, once again took place throughout the country to demand justice and an end to racial discrimination. Thousands of people of all origins marched through the streets of New York as well as in Washington, Seattle and Los Angeles, three cities where the curfew was lifted.

The indignation continued to cross borders, as in Vienna, where a demonstration gathered around 50,000 people according to the Austrian police.

In Minneapolis, family, religious or political leaders and celebrities gathered at the North Central Christian University to honor the memory of this African-American, whose death at the age of 46 was killed by a white policeman on May 25 a deep wave of anger.

The ceremony began with a moving rendition of "Amazing Grace" after the mayor, white, of Minneapolis knelt in tears before the coffin.

George Floyd's family during the tribute ceremony June 4, 2020 in Minneapolis.[AFP / Kerem Yucel]]

It was notably marked by a period of silence of 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the time during which the police officer Derek Chauvin remained kneeling on the neck of George Floyd despite his pleas.

Speaking, the brother of the deceased, Philonise Floyd, denounced with applause "the pandemic of racism and discrimination" which prevailed.

Reverend Al Sharpton, a figure in the civil rights movement, delivered a very political eulogy.

"George Floyd should not be among the dead. He did not die from a common health problem. He died from a common dysfunction in the American justice system," he said. He said he saw in the knee which crushed George Floyd's neck the symbol of the oppression of African-Americans "in all aspects of American life": education, health, employment, etc.

A Donald Trump, who evacuated manu militari the surroundings of the White House Monday evening to pose in front of a church, bible in hand, the Baptist pastor of 65 years advised to "open the bible".

This dispersal of protesters is also worth the American president a legal complaint filed by the powerful association for the defence of civil rights ACLU and other organizations. It also targets the Ministers of Justice and Defence.

- Victory and appeasement -

Filmed by a passer-by, the father's agony provoked a climate of tension that the United States had not known since the 1960s and the civil rights movement.

Demonstrations, sometimes degenerating into looting and violence, took place across the country to denounce police brutality, racism and social inequalities exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Police have made a total of nearly 10,000 arrests in the country in recent days, according to an estimate reported by American media.

Other arrests were reported Thursday evening in New York among the protesters defying the curfew effective at 8:00 p.m. Nearby, in Buffalo, the images of a policeman violently pushing an elderly man and throwing him to the ground ignited social networks. According to a statement from the authorities, the man, who was bleeding profusely and appeared to have lost consciousness, "tripped and fell".

Local media reported that an internal investigation had been opened into the incident and that the victim's days were not in danger.

However, after more than a week of excesses, the situation seems to have calmed significantly in the country, the demonstrators having obtained a first "victory" in the legal field.

As they claimed, the prosecutor investigating the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis redefined the facts as intentional homicide and charged the three other officers present with aiding and abetting. The latter appeared in court Thursday for their bail to be fixed: between 750,000 and 1 million dollars each.

Photos provided on June 3, 2020, by local prison officials of the four police officers involved in the death of George Floyd.[Hennepin County Jail / AFP / Handout]

Accused by the Democratic opposition of throwing fuel on the fire by threatening to use the army to check the streets, Donald Trump continues to show his firmness.

"PUBLIC ORDER!", He again tweeted early in the morning in capital letters in what will certainly be one of the themes of his re-election campaign until the presidential election on November 3.

The Republican billionaire's favourite media, Twitter has invoked a "copyright" issue to remove a video of the president paying tribute to George Floyd.

For his campaign team, it is simply "censorship" by Twitter and his boss Jack Dorsey of the presidential speech. "The same speech that the media refused to cover," they accuse ... on Twitter.

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