Racially-charged protests have gained momentum across the United States and will escalate in 2016 because Washington has failed to address the “epidemic of police killing” of African Americans, says a political commentator.
Hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters, demanding equal rights for African Americans, locked down the largest shopping mall in the US on Wednesday. They met in the central rotunda of the Mall of America in Minnesota, chanting: “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!”
They also blocked access to a terminal and caused significant holiday traffic delays at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Wednesday.
“Theses protests will escalate during 2016 because the fellow government from the White House to the Congress to the US Supreme Court has not seriously addressed this epidemic of police killing of African Americans and other oppressed people inside the United States,” Abayomi Azikiwe , editor at the Pan-African News Wire, said on Thursday.
“There were literally hundreds of people who have been killed just over the last several months,” he told Press TV.
Police in the United States have killed about 1,150 people as of December 15 of this year, with the largest police departments disproportionately killing at least 321 African Americans, according to data compiled by Mapping Police Violence, an activist group.
The killing of several unarmed black men by white police officers in the last two years and decisions by grand juries not to indict the officers triggered large-scale protests across the US.
“Until the United States government and the corporate community seriously tackle the issue of institutional racism and the arbitrary use of police deadly force, there would be no stability inside the United States and it will impact the overall economy of the country,” Azikiwe said.
“Just look at the statistics for the festive season of this year that indicate the consumer spending is down and also indicate that there is a lot of dissatisfaction with the overall social system inside the United States and the system itself cannot be profitable when you have this type of uneasiness and this type of discontent,” he noted.