Violent protests rock US cities; Trump takes refuge in White House bunker

At least five deaths have been reported in protests across 140 cities; 2,564 have been arrested in the worst civil unrest seen in the country in decades

All over the world, protesters mobilized by the death of George Floyd have called for the removal of statues that represent cultural or racial oppression.

As angry protesters assembled outside the White House on Friday (May 30) night, over the custodial death of African American George Flyody by a Minnesota policeman, US President Donald Trump reportedly was rushed into the bunker as a precautionary measure.

According to Associated Press (AP), the incident happened when hundreds of protesters gathered outside the White House while some even resorting to stone-pelting.

Trump was in the bunker for about an hour, which is meant to be used in emergencies like a terrorist attack.

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White House spokesman Judd Deere, however, declined to divulge any information on the occurrence.

The AP report, however, said that Trump had told his advisers that he fears for his safety.

According to CNN, First Lady Melania Trump and their son Barron were also taken to the bunker along with Trump. Trump made no public appearances on Sunday, but in a series of tweets, he blamed the media for fomenting hatred and anarchy in the country.

Related news: Protesters start fire near White House, police use tear gas

“The Lamestream Media is doing everything within their power to foment hatred and anarchy. As long as everybody understands what they are doing, that they are FAKE NEWS and truly bad people with a sick agenda, we can easily work through them to GREATNESS!” he said.

Earlier in the day, he announced that his administration will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization. ANTIFA is regarded as a militant, left-wing, anti-fascist political activist movement in the US. It comprises autonomous activist groups that aim to achieve their political objectives through the use of direct action rather than through policy reform. US Attorney General William Barr said that the violence instigated and carried out by the organisation and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly.

The Trump administration alleges that it appears the violence is planned, organised, and driven by anarchistic and far left extremists, using ANTIFA-like tactics, many of whom travel from out of state to promote the violence.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who is the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic party, visited a protest site in Delaware on Sunday. “We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us. We are a nation enraged, but we cannot allow our rage to consume us. We are a nation exhausted, but we will not allow our exhaustion to defeat us,” Biden wrote on social media postings on Sunday. “The only way to bear this pain is to turn all that anguish to purpose. And as President, I will help lead this conversation and more importantly, I will listen, just as I did today visiting the site of last night’s protests in Wilmington,” he said. The Committee to Protect Journalists, in a late night statement said that several dozen covering the protests have been harassment, as well as arrested by law enforcement agencies.

The US remained a tinderbox of anger and emotion as violent protests continued for the six consecutive day on Sunday (May 31), resulting in the death of at least five people, the arrest of thousands and placing of curfew in nearly 40 cities.

A person holds a U.S. flag with messages on it, during a Black Lives Matter March in Eugene, Ore on Sunday

Considered to be the worst ever civil unrest in the US in decades, the violent protests have engulfed at least 140 cities across America in the days following the death of Floyd, a 46-year-old man who was pinned to the ground in Minneapolis on Monday by a white police officer who kneeled on his neck as he gasped for breath.

Some of the protests have turned violent, prompting the activation of the National Guard in at least 20 states. “At least five people were killed in violence that flared as demonstrations in parts of the country devolved into mayhem,” The Washington Post reported.

Police have arrested at least 2,564 people in two dozen US cities over the weekend. Nearly a fifth of those arrests were in Los Angeles, it said. The unrest initially began in Minneapolis in Minnesota but has now spread across the country, with reports of violence coming in from across major cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Houston, Philadelphia and Washington DC.

(With inputs from agencies)

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