‘That was the last straw’: the Russian-speaking residents were at the center of protests in the United States

The protests of the movement Black Lives Matter in the United States do not cease for several weeks. Edition BBC found Russian-speaking U.S. residents who were witnesses of the beginning of the protests.

'Это была последняя капля': русскоязычные жители оказались в центре протестов в США

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Hayk Ghazarian, the owner of Russian restaurant in Pushkin San Diego, spoke about how he with weapons in hands defended their business, and teacher Valery Svarcova remembered the night when she had to stock up on buckets of water.

“My name is Hayk Ghazaryan. In San Diego I have seven years”, — said the owner of a Russian restaurant.

“My name is Valeria. I was born in the city of Borovichi, Novgorod region. Moved to the States and live here for the sixth year in Saint Paul in Minnesota,” says Valeria.

“We thought that this might happen. Was a crowd, and then they began to set fire to banks, burned down two banks. Then they began to set fire to small businesses, private businesses. Of course, all the jewelry shops was robbed. And the next day these same people came out to protest here in downtown, in our area. And of course I didn’t want a repeat of these riots, I called my friends to help defend Pushkin,” says Ghazaryan.

“We were, did not beat anybody, did not touch, did not give them anything to break. Just stood and defended the restaurant — said Ghazaryan. — That night tried twice to hack restaurant neighbor, but when you get out with a shotgun on the street, people flee immediately.”

“In the week when there was a murder of George Floyd, my husband and I went to Minneapolis on Saturday. We sat in the house of the brother of my husband, we had to collect buckets of water, we removed all the bricks and stones to the garage to do nothing, than you can break the glass or damage the house — says Valeria. All night Saturday we did not sleep because we didn’t know what will happen. At 22:00 we saw the protesters that passed by our Windows.”

“The girl’s brother my husband just shook, in such moments, really afraid for his life. We went outside, and when I saw the protesters, I had no fear because they just passed by, they shouted, no one picked up. When people began to plunder the place, if you notice, the large place was Target and Cup foods, that is, large networks, the owners of which are clearly white-skinned people, and a multimillion-dollar company. And now, as they begin the raids, people thought, “well, if white has already profited, then we defeat these large corporations,” says Valeria. But on the other hand, I understand the idea that maybe you can explain it from a positive point of view when it began, when it was aimed only at “white” businesses. But then it just got uncontrolled proliferation”.

“A double feeling about the protests. On the one hand, I support him, all life is important, you need to all equally. On the other hand, when they set fire to it, you involuntarily start to look negatively on all the protesters. The crowd, which was on us — we had no idea what would happen next. They want to break something, they want something to burn,” says Hayk Ghazaryan. But we Protected our heritage. Pushkin was alive. Pushkin will live.”

“I have a lot of friends with different skin color. I ask how it’s going, and they have tears in their eyes. I mean, I understand that they don’t just pose, that’s not what “we are so poor, protect us.” People who experienced racism with some kind of micro-aggression throughout his life. And the fact that now it is intensified, it was just the last straw. People who need to see it, they see”, — said Valery.

A Russian man who does not live in the US, it is difficult to understand why Americans protest.

“There is racial inequality in the United States. You understand that this racial inequality is just not there. For example, I will cite some specific facts about the percentages can not hundred percent guarantee that my answer is correct: 65-70% of crimes in the United States — the work of African Americans. That is 13% of the population is responsible for 65% of the mess. Of course, when this happens, the police are working, they are already automatically drops the view”, said Ghazaryan.

As previously wrote ForumDaily:

  • From the end of may in the US raging fierce protests over the killing by police of afroamericans. May 27, George Floyd, an African-American from Minneapolis, died after a police officer of the city suffocated him with a knee. Officer Derek Chauvin was fired and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter; three other officers also lost their jobs. Protests and riots subsequently broke out in Minneapolis and across the country. In the end, all the police officers involved in the death of George Floyd was arrested. They face up to 40 years in prison.
  • May 31, drove a truck into a crowd of protesters in Minneapolis (mn). Driving a car was a US citizen, supposedly of Ukrainian origin, Bogdan Vechirko. He was arrested, but on 2 June released from custody pending further investigation. In the end, charges against him are not nominated.
  • About 40 cities, including Los Angeles, Miami, Detroit and Philadelphia, banned for a few days street demonstrations after dark. The governors of Texas and Virginia declared a state of emergency.
  • In connection with the protests in cities across the US embassies of Ukraine and Russia has asked its citizens living on the territory of the state, to maintain order and to avoid crowds and to comply with security measures.
  • June 1, Donald trump introduced the 1807 act, allowing him to send armed forces to the United States, shaken by the riots, in connection with the death of George Floyd.
  • According to the results of the official autopsy of George Floyd, his death was caused by mechanical asphyxiation and should be treated as violent.
  • As of June 4 victims of mass protests in the United States were at least 11 people.
  • More than 10,000 people were arrested during the protests, condemning racism and police brutality over the death of George Floyd.
  • June 12, in Atlanta during the arrest the cops killed African-American protests broke out with renewed vigor.

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