The Past 24 Hours or So – Protests/Racial & Social Justice, Trump Administration, and Presidential Campaign Updates

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Protests/Racial and Social Justice

  • Juneteenth, the day celebrating Black freedom from slavery, is now an official holiday in Massachusetts.
  • The Trump administration is sending more federal agents to Portland, Oregon in response to further protests and demonstrations in front of a federal courthouse that have been labeled by police as “riots” though the agents being sent reportedly rarely have any riot training. Clashes between federal officials and protesters have become violent with both protesters and law enforcement injured. 
  • The mayors of six U.S. cities appealed to Congress to make it illegal for the federal government to deploy militarized federal agents to cities that don’t want them.

“This administration’s egregious use of federal force on cities over the objections of local authorities should never happen,” the mayors of Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Kansas City Albuquerque and Washington D.C. wrote to leaders of the U.S. House and Senate.

  • Riots in downtown Richmond over the weekend were instigated by white supremacists under the guise of Black Lives Matter, according to law enforcement officials.

Protesters tore down police tape and pushed forward toward Richmond police headquarters, where they set a city dump truck on fire.

  • An Army National Guard officer who witnessed protesters forcibly removed from Lafayette Square last month is contradicting claims by the attorney general and the Trump administration that they did not speed up the clearing to make way for the president’s photo opportunity minutes later.

A new statement by Adam D. DeMarco, an Iraq veteran who now serves as a major in the D.C. National Guard, also casts doubt on the claims by acting Park Police Chief Gregory Monahan that violence by protesters spurred Park Police to clear the area at that time with unusually aggressive tactics. DeMarco said that “demonstrators were behaving peacefully” and that tear gas was deployed in an “excessive use of force.”

  • New York City police have arrested at least eight people for vandalizing the city’s Black Lives Matter mural since it was painted on the street in front of Trump Tower just a few weeks ago.

Trump Administration

  • First lady Melania Trump announced plans to renovate the White House Rose Garden.

The plans call for renewing the space to more closely resemble the original 1962 design of the garden during the Kennedy administration.

  • Trump said he won’t pay his respects to the late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis as he lies in state at the US Capitol.
  • Trump blasted Twitter’s trending section. In a Tweet, he wrote: “So disgusting to watch Twitter’s so-called “Trending”, where sooo many trends are about me, and never a good one. They look for anything they can find, make it as bad as possible, and blow it up, trying to make it trend. Really ridiculous, illegal, and, of course, very unfair!”
  • President Trump’s lawyers told a federal court that a New York City prosecutor’s subpoena for his tax returns “amounts to harassment of the President.” 

Trump’s lawyers argued in an amended lawsuit filed that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office overstepped its authority by seeking eight years’ worth of tax returns and financial records from the president’s accounting firm.

Presidential Campaign

  • 360 democratic delegates, mainly Bernie Sanders supporters, say they’ll oppose a party platform that does not include Medicare for All. 
  • Trump’s Campaign announced its all-star line-up of speakers for the new scaled down Republican Convention. Ted Nugent, Scott Baio, Antonio Sabato Jr, and Diamond and Silk will all appear virtually in Zoom boxes before Trump’s acceptance speech. 

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, Independent, NBC News, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

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