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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Trump to visit Kenosha next week, potentially stoking tensions

The visit is certain to exacerbate tensions in the city, where a crowd of about 1,000 demonstrators gathered outside a courthouse Saturday to denounce police violence.

By: AP | Washington |
August 30, 2020 10:27:31 am
ZCZC PRI GEN INT .JERUSALEM FGN11 ISRAEL-ANTI-PM-RALLIES Thousands gather in Israel for anti-Netanyahu weekly rallies Jerusalem, Aug 30 (AP) Thousands of Israelis demonstrated Saturday in Jerusalem in a continuation of summer-long weekend rallies demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who faces a corruption trial and accusations of mishandling the coronavirus crisis. Smaller protests also took part in other parts in Israel, including overpasses and outside Netanyahu's private house in the upscale town of Caesaria. At the main rally in Jerusalem, protesters gathered at the entrance of the city and marched to Netanyahu's official residence, holding Israeli flags and black flags symbolizing one of the protest movements. �Enough with Division!� and �This is not politics, this is crime� read some of the placards. Netanyahu's governing coalition temporarily survived collapse this week after an agreement with �alternate prime minister� Benny Gantz, his rival and main coalition partner, to delay a budget vote until December. If the two coalition partners had failed to agree on delaying the budget's approval, the government would have collapsed and Israel would have gone to its fourth general elections in less than two years. Netanyahu of the Likud party and Gantz' Blue and White formed the coalition in May after three inconclusive elections, but differences between the two remain. The coronavirus crisis is fueling the protest movement. After controlling the virus in its first stages in the spring, Israel reopened its economy too fast in May, leading to a spike of cases. Israel is struggling with a number of confirmed infections exceeding 113,000 cases and the death toll is approaching 1,000. Business owners, day-to-day workers and smaller, vulnerable entrepreneurs who were hard hit by the pandemic-triggered closures take part in anti-Netanyahu demonstrations. The unemployment rate is hovering over 20%. Netanyahu's three corruption cases also have added momentum to the protests. Last year, he was charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Many protesters say Netanyahu shouldn't serve as a prime minister at a time when he is on trial for serious charges. In January, his trial will move to a witness phase with three sessions a week. (AP) RAX RAX 08300722 NNNNPolice clash with protesters near the Kenosha County Courthouse, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

President Donald Trump will travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, amid fury over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in the back, which left the 29-year-old Black man paralyzed.

White House spokesman Judd Deere told reporters aboard Air Force One on Saturday that Trump will be meeting with law enforcement officers and “surveying” some of the damage from recent protests that turned destructive.

The visit is certain to exacerbate tensions in the city, where a crowd of about 1,000 demonstrators gathered outside a courthouse Saturday to denounce police violence.

Trump has been running his reelection campaign on a law-and-order mantle, denouncing protesters as “thugs” while voicing his support for police.

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In his acceptance speech during the virtual Republican National Convention, Trump painted the election in hyperbolic terms as a stark choice between peaceful streets and anarchy.

Trump’s opponent for reelection, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his running mate, Kamala Harris, have accused Trump of rooting for violence amid unrest in Wisconsin.

“He views this as a political benefit,” Biden said in an interview on MSNBC. “He’s rooting for more violence, not less. And it’s clear about that.”

Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey and two other officers were responding to a domestic abuse call last Sunday when Sheskey shot Blake in the back seven times.

Cellphone video captured the shooting, which has sparked new protests against racial injustice and police brutality months after George Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis officer touched off a wider reckoning on race.

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