Trump’s Threat To Send Troops Amid Protests Puts Human Rights At Risk – Ex-UN Official

US President Donald Trump’s threat to deploy the military to tackle the ongoing civil disorder in the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death puts citizens’ human right to protest peacefully at risk, former UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order Professor Alfred de Zayas told Sputnik

LONDON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik – 03rd June, 2020) US President Donald Trump‘s threat to deploy the military to tackle the ongoing civil disorder in the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death puts citizens’ human right to protest peacefully at risk, former UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order Professor Alfred de Zayas told Sputnik.

Trump has taken a firm stance when it comes to the rioting that is continuing in many parts of the United States following the police killing of an unarmed African-American suspect, George Floyd, on May 25 in the city of Minneapolis. Troops from the National Guard have been deployed to multiple cities to aid law enforcement officers control the protests, and de Zayas stated that sending in the military constitutes a severe rolling back of human rights in the country.

“This is a form of state terrorism, a serious retrogression in human rights. Trump has misjudged the situation here, as elsewhere. But he is not alone; both Democratic presidents like Clinton and Obama engaged in unconstitutional and repressive activities, but they were more elegant about it,” de Zayas remarked.

The former UN official noted that demonstrators are not just protesting against the death of Floyd, but against decades of racial and social inequality.

“What America needs is a recognition that all persons, whether rich or poor, whether employed or unemployed, whether white or black, have human dignity, that police officers are also human beings, but poorly trained,” de Zayas stated.

Addressing this issue is the only way to find a solution to the violence that has paralyzed multiple US cities, de Zayas said, adding that Trump has yet to make any decisions that appear to rectify this problem.

“It does not seem to occur to Trump that the vicious circle has to be broken, that violence generates violence, and that not only policemen but social workers must learn the art of conflict management. Trump is using an obsolete and draconian Orwellian model that serves only the wealthy,” the former UN official stated.

From his response to the violence, Trump is attempting to deflect negative attention away from himself by seeking to blame others for the current situation rather than addressing deep-rooted policy failures stemming from multiple administrations, de Zayas remarked.

“True to style, Trump is looking for someone to blame other than himself and the system that made him a billionaire. In the past, he has implausibly targeted Russia and China for meddling, industrial espionage, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Now he is scapegoating the ANTIFA movement, perhaps not entirely without reason, since there is some concern that the legitimate Black Lives Matter movement may be in the process of being ‘hijacked’ by ANTIFA extremists,” de Zayas stated.

The former UN official went on to argue that he did not see any evidence of a concentrated effort to overthrow the US government. What is instead taking place, he argued, was a reflection of long-running social and political problems within the fabric of US society, an issue that was not confined to the killing of Floyd and the resulting backlash.

“I do not think that there is an ‘agenda’ or a ‘conspiracy’ to overthrow the government, nor an instrumentalization of Floyd’s death for purposes of looting and burning. What I do see – and have seen for decades – is a disenfranchisement of the population, a high level of discontent resulting from the disconnect between the government, the president, the senators, the congressmen and women, and the American people,” de Zayas said, adding that the US government has failed to address the gaps between the needs and wishes of the people, and the laws that affect them.

Demonstrators on Monday defied the curfew announced by Trump and once again took to the streets to protest against Floyd’s death and racial inequality in the United States.

Four police officers are believed to have been shot in St. Louis, Missouri, on Monday, and another was reportedly wounded by gunfire in Las Vegas, Nevada. Multiple churches have also been attacked since protests turned violent, including the centuries-old St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, DC, which suffered fire damage as demonstrations took place in the vicinity of the White House.

Trump has sought to assure potential voters that he has the situation under control, having repeatedly stressed the importance of “law and order” in addition to claiming to be prepared to deploy the US military.

However, with elections looming in November it remains unclear as to whether the president may be able to secure himself a second term in office, given that his administration appears to have struggled to deal with the current unrest as well as the world‘s most severe outbreak of COVID-19 to date.

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