Protesters urge nonviolence in viral videos

As thousands of Americans flood the streets to protest George Floyd’s death, many black protesters have expressed concerns that white protesters are putting them at risk.

Black protesters have responded to white protesters defacing property on social media.

One viral video depicts a white woman writing “Black Lives Matter” in spray paint on a Starbucks.

A black woman filmed the incident, and tells the white woman to stop, saying police officers and the wider public will blame it on black people.

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“This is not a black woman who’s writing ‘Black Lives Matter,’” she tells viewers. “I just want you to know that … y’all doing that for us and we didn’t ask you to do that.

“Don’t spray stuff on here when they’re going to blame black people for this. They’re not gonna show your faces. They’re gonna blame that on us.”

In a similar video, taken in Oakland California, a crowd of people who appear to be mostly white smash the windows of a restaurant while a black woman holding a megaphone begs them to stop.

A third video filmed today shows a white protester in Maryland attempting to push into a metal barrier with police officers on the other side.

A black woman attempts to stop him, saying: “When you do that, they don’t come after you. They come after us.”

In Brooklyn, New York, one video shows black protesters standing guard outside a Target store to stop people from looting it or creating further violence.

Yesterday on social media, footage emerged of a citizen damaging property during a protest being removed from the area.

In the footage, peaceful protesters could be seen surrounding a hooded demonstrator wearing a backpack, who was attempting to smash public property.

The person was lifted up and handed over to police, with one protester shouting, “Get the white people!” as they are removed.

The crowd could be heard cheering as the hooded protester was handed over to police.

US President Donald Trump has frequently named Antifa as a key group responsible for the riots.

Antifa is short for “anti-fascist action”, and is a loose network of groups opposed to fascism, white supremacy and racism and favours direct action over policy change.

The group is anti-government and is aligned more with anarchists than the mainstream political left wing.

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Today Mr Trump announced he would mobilise “heavily-armed military forces” to stop the “rioting and looting” taking place in protests across the United States, declaring the riots a “total disgrace”.

He said the nation has been “gripped by professional anarchists, violent mobs, arsonists, looters, criminals, rioters, Antifa and others”.

Mr Trump described the protests in Washington D.C. as a “total disgrace”, and said he would dispatch “thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel and law enforcement officers” to “stop the rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults, and the wanton destruction of property”.

The riots have been going for several days in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

The 46-year-old died after being pinned down by white police officer Derek Chauvin who knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd told him, “I can’t breathe.”

The mantra has been adopted by protesters who have chanted the line at rallies across US cities from Los Angeles to New York, and spread to Europe and New Zealand.

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