No. 20June 6, 2020

Mass Actions Across the U.S. and Around the World Demand Justice and an End
to Police Brutality and Impunity

United States

Tens of thousands march on the I-94 in Minneapolis, May 31, 2020.

At actions in Minneapolis and across the United States, people from all walks of life, and especially African-American youth, have been out in their thousands taking courageous stands to demand justice for George Floyd in the face of massive state-organized violence by the police and military. They are decrying not only the racist killing of George Floyd on May 25, but all similar injustices and impunity for such crimes that are rife across the United States.

Speaking in their own name, working people have made clear their opposition to racist and police violence and that those who permit such crimes to be committed do not speak for them and will be held to account. They are standing up to be counted and fighting to humanize their society by calling for new arrangements and rejecting arrangements that dehumanize everyone, including police forces and a legal system that are premised on protecting private property and the interests of a wealthy ruling elite, at the expense of the people's well-being. This is confirmed by the hundreds of incidents of unprovoked brutality by heavily armed and militarized police, as well as the National Guard, against the people demanding justice and accountability that have been documented throughout the protests.

In Minneapolis alone, protests have taken place continuously since May 26, organized by many organizations that defend the rights of African Americans, high school students, organized labour, as well as medical students. Massive actions have taken place at the site of George Floyd's killing, throughout the streets of Minneapolis, as well as the Capitol Building in neighbouring St. Paul (the other half of the Twin Cities), at the residence of Governor Tim Walz, the residence of County Prosecutor Mike Freeman, Minneapolis City Hall and the offices of the Hennepin County Medical Examiner that issued a misleading preliminary report about George Floyd's death. The four police officers involved in killing George Floyd were fired on May 26, as the mass actions began. The sustained actions saw to it that some of the people's further demands -- that criminal charges, including murder, be brought against all four former Minneapolis police officers -- have been met. Protestors continue to demand investigations into all police violence and killings against African Americans and other minorities in Minnesota in recent years. They are also calling for community control over the police, and that the current police force be defunded and disbanded. Many local businesses and organizations have taken their stands by publicly breaking ties with the Minneapolis Police Department.

Washington, DC has become another focal point for the demonstrations, where U.S. President Donald Trump, who epitomizes the inhumanity and racism of the ruling circles and their wanton use of state violence against the people, has only contributed to people's outrage through his self-serving provocations. 

Memorial services were held in Minneapolis on June 4; and in Raeford, North Carolina, George Floyd's birthplace, on June 6, where cars were lined up for miles with those wishing to pay their respects to George and his family. Another will be held on June 7 in Houston, Texas, where he also lived.

What is telling about the actions across the U.S. is that people are not only protesting the killing of George Floyd, but they are giving expression to a desire for new political arrangements, where they can exercise control over their lives and cannot be victimized by those who do not represent them and refuse to recognize their rights.

Minneapolis, MN

June 6, 2020

June 5, 2020

Memorial for George Floyd, June 4, 2020.

Minneapolis City Hall, June 3, 2020

Capitol Building, St. Paul, June 2, 2020

Medical students rally outside the offices of the Hennepin County
Medical Examiner, June 2, 2020.

Rally at Minnesota State Governor's Residence, June 1, 2020.

Rally at the Capitol Building in St. Paul, June 1, 2020.

Organized labour rallies to demand Justice for George Floyd, May 31, 2020.

Protestors rally outside Minneapolis Police Department Precinct 3, May 28, 2020, which is later burned to the ground.

May 27, 2020

Rally through the streets on, May 26, 2020 including the place where George Floyd was killed by police the day before. 

Washington, DC

The eighth consecutive day of protests takes place in Washington, DC, June 6, 2020.

On June 5, 2020, Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser renames a portion of 16th St., which leads directly to the White House, "Black Lives Matter Plaza." Protestors provide an addendum nearby in their own yellow lettering the next day: "Defund the Police."

Protestors march down 16th St., with Lafayette Square and the White House
behind them, June 3, 2020

Boston, Massachusetts

Hartford, Connecticut

Dover, Delaware

Bethesda, Maryland

New York City

Brooklyn, New York

Columbus, Ohio

Detroit, Michigan

East Lansing, Michigan

Chicago, Illinois

Louisville, Kentucky

Raeford, North Carolina

Memorial and visitation for George Floyd, June 6, 2020.

Nashville, Tennessee

Ferguson, Missouri

Des Moines, Iowa

Atlanta, Georgia

Miami, Florida

Montgomery, Alabama

Shreveport, Louisiana

Denton, Texas

Lubbock, Texas

Frisco, Texas

Phoenix, Arizona

Oakland, California

Anaheim, California

Stockton, California

Seattle, Washington

Actions in Canada

Despite the difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, working people in Canada have been out in their thousands to express their outrage at the police killing of George Floyd and lend support to the militant fight for rights in the U.S. At the same time, they are condemning ongoing state-organized and racist police violence in Canada, and the conditions that make Indigenous peoples, Black people, national minorities and women fair game.

In Toronto on May 27, 29-year-old Regis Korchinski-Paquet, an Indigenous-Black woman, fell to her death from her 24th-floor apartment under suspicious circumstances. Police were present in her apartment at the time of her death, called by Korchinski-Paquet's mother to de-escalate a family fight, news agencies report. The family's lawyer Knia Singh told reporters that six officers showed up and went into the apartment with Korchinski-Paquet, but stopped family members from entering. Singh said Korchinski-Paquet yelled, "Mom, help," from inside the unit, then things went quiet. Police later informed that she was on the ground. The matter is being investigated by the Special Investigations Unit. A mass rally was held at Christie Pitts on May 30, followed by a march down Bloor St., under the banner "Not Another Black Life." The people's concern about the role of the police in the death of Korchinski-Paquet is well-founded. Toronto police have a long history of unjustified use of lethal force against Black people and national minorities, including Sammy Yatim, Jeffrey Reodica, Andrew Bramwell, Faraz Suleiman, Wade Lawson and others, as well as people suffering from mental illness including Otto Vass, Lester Donaldson, Edmund Yu, Sylvia Klibingaitis and Andrew Loku.

In Montreal, the city's police service (SPVM) is also notorious for its mistreatment of Black people and other minorities, including racial profiling and police brutality, especially in the more impoverished area of Montreal North. An especially infamous case is the 2008 police killing of 18-year-old Fredy Villanueva, for which the SPVM could not be held to account. Despite this notoriety, Montreal Police Chief Sylvain Caron on June 5, indicated that he would like to attend a June 7 protest against police brutality and racial profiling. His invitation to participate was withdrawn. "Unfortunately, I have to cancel the invitation to the chief of police," a Facebook post from organizer Anastasia Marcelin reads. "Citizens are terrified at the idea of him being there. This is the consequence when we lose confidence in an institution that should be there for our security, which has chosen to brutalize us." Similarly, a joint statement from the groups Hoodstock, Justice for Victims of Police Killings and Tout Le Hood en Parle, also rejected the participation of the SPVM chief. "We want to express our opposition to the presence of the Montreal police chief at a demonstration against police violence and brutality, which amounts to reinforcing police impunity," the statement reads. "It is also disrespectful to the victims of police violence and impunity, including those people killed by the Montreal police."

On June 6, Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation in Alberta spoke out about his recent treatment by RCMP officers, in which he alleges he was beaten after being stopped for expired stickers on his vehicle license plates. "Because we [First Nations] are a minority -- and nobody speaks up for us -- every time our people do wrong, the RCMP… they always seem to use excessive force. And that has to stop. Enough is enough," Adam said at a news conference in Fort McMurray. Alberta's police oversight agency has been directed to investigate.

Police brutality and killing of Indigenous peoples are crimes on which Canada was founded, and continue in the present era. Most recently there have been the police raids on the Wet'suwet'en land defenders, and before that the sieges by the police and military at Oka, Quebec, Gustafsen Lake in BC, and Ipperwash, Ontario, where Dudley George was shot and killed by the police. There are the "starlight tours" of the Saskatoon police, driving Indigenous men outside city limits and leaving them to die in freezing weather. There is also the terrible sexual abuse of Indigenous women by the Sûreté du Québec in Val-d'Or, and the callous indifference of the Government of Canada and police services to the plight of Indigenous women and girls being disappeared across the country.

Working people in Canada have always opposed state-organized racist attacks in all their forms, whether it be racist immigration measures, the police and their agents instigating racist attacks to divide the polity and blame the people themselves for racism, or attempts to deny the Indigenous peoples their hereditary and treaty rights, and even their very right to be. It is in this spirit that working people across Canada are demonstrating and organizing to change the situation, while standing shoulder to shoulder with those in the U.S. and around the world also fighting for empowerment and in defence of the rights of all.

Ottawa, ON

Some 15,000 people took to the streets of Ottawa on June 5, 2020,
including stops at the U.S. Embassy (top) and Parliament Hill.

Halifax, NS

Charlottetown, PEI

Montreal, QC

Toronto, ON

Windsor, ON

Chatham-Kent, ON

Edmonton, AB

Calgary, AB

Vancouver, BC

Prince George, BC

Around the World

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

London, England

Birmingham, England

Liverpool, England

Dublin, Ireland

Marseille, France

Berlin, Germany


Helsinki, Finland

Reykjavik, Iceland

Zurich, Switzerland


Athens, Greece

Haifa, Palestine

Dakar, Senegal

Abuja, Nigeria

Perth, Australia

Sydney, Australia

New Zealand

(Photos: TML, MN DoT, T. Phan-Quang, Fight Back! News, Unicorn Riot, W. Harmon, L. Tran, C. Olsen, T.A. Crews, B. Sigal, redfishstream, Fibonacci Blue, T. Eytan, Gorilla Warfare, T. Nicholas, D. Cram, @MomsDemandFan,, D. Vila, D. Altshuler, P. Becker, A. Azikiwe, Guettarda, Chicago Race Riot of 1919 Commemoration Project, J. Grove, L.C. Dupard, @MsHardy777, N. Shockey, Caylin, P. Roeder, L.E. Nystrom, A. Diaz, M. Barbee, J. Friedman, C. Lyon, M. Polidore, Mike C., Progress Now AZ, D. Arauz, Jurban, Shumesa, H. Sheil, C. Burns, A. Harrison, International Wisdom Truth Freedom, V.P. Szigeti, S. Steinbach, M. Reinoso, Storeal, J.F. Muzzin, D. Canniff, J. Chalifoux, Go to Van, H. Mattar, W. Ayyoub, Brasil de Fato, S. Malik, D. Maddock, G. Sweeney, M. Louisa, L. Lenz, xomargolox, eldineet, S. Sharp, bigfloater, Cath, Vittoria, No Borders. J. Potash, Xinhua)

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