Black Lives Matter movement takes political colour as US elections near

WION New Delhi Jul 31, 2020, 08.46 PM(IST) Edited By: Palki Sharma

Black Lives Matter movement Photograph:( Reuters )

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With less than 100 days to go for the presidential election, leaders on both sides are sharpening their rhetoric.

Armed agents in riot gear used tear gas to rein in protesters in the United States but the anger of the people in Portland hasn’t diminished from the rich and famous to the common man.

It began on social media after the death of an unarmed man - George Floyd in police custody. Now, the "Black Lives Matter" movement has snowballed into a major political issue in America.

It has reached the doorstep of US President Donald Trump - quite literally. Civil rights activists gathered outside the Trump tower in New York and they painted a mural of their rallying cry. President Trump has been facing the wrath of the protesters.

Race tensions in America have taken a political colour. During the funeral of lawmaker and civil rights icon John Lewis, former US President Barack Obama took on his successor. 

"There are those in power who are doing their darndest to discourage people from voting by closing polling locations and targeting minorities and students with restrictive ID laws and attacking our voting rights with surgical precision, even undermining the postal service in the run-up to an election that's going to be dependent on mail-in ballots so people don't get sick," Obama said.

With less than 100 days to go for the presidential election, leaders on both sides are sharpening their rhetoric. President Trump backs the aggressive actions of security forces calling the protester's anarchists.

"So our people have done, homeland security have done a fantastic job. They went to Oregon a little more than a week ago. The place was a mess. The city, Portland, was just a disaster. You see it and a lot of people weren't reporting it. They tried to pretend it was a protest as opposed to anarchists and agitators, you understand what I'm saying, it's a mess," the US president said.

The America of today looks quite similar to what it was in 1968 which was one of the most turbulent years in American history. In April 1968, Dr Martin Luther King, the leader of the civil rights movement in America was assassinated, four months later presidential candidate Robert Kennedy was killed as violent clashes erupted across the United States mostly led by young African-Americans.

Fifty-two years later it's happening again. On June 6, nearly half a million people took to the streets in close to 550 locations across the country making the "Black Lives Matter" movement, perhaps the largest movement in American history.

More than a month later, the protests have not stopped neither have the political attacks. The United States is going to the polls as a deeply divided nation.