Before the Covid-19 pandemic is over, the United States is rocked by massive demonstrations. If Covid-19 is overcome by a lockdown, the demonstrations in the country are handled with a curfew, following the widespread mass action in various states.
Demonstrations protesting the actions of police officers, which led to the death of a black citizen, George Floyd, has exploded into riots and looting. Initially peaceful protests, in various cities they turned into clashes with the police and were marked by acts of violence. Protesters even burned police cars, damaged public facilities and looted shops. To help the police, the federal government has deployed at least 5000 national guards to secure the situation in 15 states and Washington DC.
Why did the demonstration over George Floyd's death quickly spread and so violent? Demonstrations are common in democratic countries, especially in the United States. Freedom of expression is guaranteed by the constitution. But the rapid spread of the demonstrations could be a sign of negative perceptions of US police who were seen as unfair in dealing with black citizens. The brutal treatment of police officers against George Floyd, spread widely through social media, has aroused solidarity and a sense of being on the same boat. Efforts to overcome the demonstration by using various methods such as tear gas and water spray, might actually arouse resistance.
Solidarity based on the awareness of a bad relationship between the police and the black community, caused even non-black residents to join the demonstration. The deployment of the national guard, the use of rubber bullets, tear gas and water spray, do not seem to deter the spirit of demonstration that has spread even closer to the White House.
In response to the massive demonstrations that turned into violence and looting, President Donald Trump told reporters that he would bring down thousands of fully armed troops. Whether Trump's steps will soon calm down and end the demonstration, or on the opposite, will actually increase the scale of the demonstration, remain to be seen in a few days.