Mayor and police chief of Houston marched at a memorial rally for George Floyd


The mayor and police chief of Houston marched alongside tens of thousands of people on Tuesday, at a memorial rally for George Floyd in his Texas hometown. Across the US, peaceful protesters defied the curfews and a sometimes forceful police response to turn out for an eighth day of demonstrations over Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
In some cities, police have been filmed marching or kneeling with the protesters. On the Today in Focus podcast, former federal prosecutor Paul Butler discusses whether this wave of protest will lead to the policing reforms he believes are needed.
Yet the unrest has also led to deadly violence, with many of those killed being African American. In the US, writes Derrick Johnson, the expendability of black lives is just part of the system:
Across the country, large numbers of people from all walks of life have joined peaceful protests against racist police violence, offering welcomed solidarity in recognition of the searing frustration and anger of Black people who have seen too many friends and family die senselessly.
  • Minneapolis schools ended their contract with the city’s police, whose officers had provided school security. “We cannot continue to be in partnership with an organization that has the culture of violence and racism that the Minneapolis police department has historically demonstrated,” said a school board member.

How Trump ‘turned holy ground into a battleground’

The DC National Guard at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday.
The DC National Guard at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty Images
The controversy over Donald Trump’s short walk to a Washington DC church on Monday continues, after it emerged that clergy linked to St John’s – known as the “church of the presidents” – were among the peaceful protesters dispersed by police with teargas and rubber bullets to clear Trump’s path from the White House. “They turned holy ground into a battleground,” said the Rev Gini Gerbasi.
Yet some among the president’s evangelical base saw the photo op – which was reportedly planned on the hoof, in response to negative media coverage – as “the coolest thing he could do”. With troops on the streets in the midst of a pandemic, the “normalised mayhem” of the Trump era has left the nation constantly off-balance, writes Julian Borger:
One reason it is so hard to keep track of the descent is the near instant normalisation of every bizarre new turn, administered like a fast-acting anaesthetic. Trump is surrounded by more coherent people insisting nothing out of the ordinary is happening.

Joe Biden promised not to ‘fan the flames of hate’

'A wake-up call for the nation': Joe Biden addresses the killing of George Floyd – video
Joe Biden’s first major public address since the coronavirus lockdown left him campaigning from his Delaware basement was sombre, not stirring. But it offered a glimpse of something that may seem abnormal to Americans amid the current chaos: a normal presidency. Speaking at city hall in Philadelphia on Tuesday, the presumptive Democratic nominee described Floyd’s death as “a wake-up call to our nation” and said Trump “is part of the problem, and accelerates it”.
I promise you this. I won’t traffic in fear and division. I won’t fan the flames of hate. I will seek to heal the racial wounds that have long plagued this country – not use them for political gain.

A lesson in conservation, from the coronavirus

Primate expert Jane Goodall says humans are ‘finished’ if we do not alter our food habits following the pandemic.
Primate expert Jane Goodall says humans are ‘finished’ if we do not alter our food habits following the pandemic. Photograph: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images
The celebrated primatologist Jane Goodall has warned that humanity will be “finished” if we fail to learn the lessons of the coronavirus and the climate crisis, and do not make drastic alterations to our food systems. Speaking at an online event organised by the campaigning group Compassion in World Farming, Goodall blamed the pandemic – thought to have originated at a “wet market” in Wuhan – on the over-exploitation of the natural world.

In other news…

Steve King goes pheasant hunting with Donald Trump Jr in 2017.
Steve King goes pheasant hunting with Donald Trump Jr in 2017.Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Great reads

The Clinton campaign shot more than 2,000 hours of behind-the-scenes footage in 2016.
The Clinton campaign shot more than 2,000 hours of behind-the-scenes footage in 2016. Photograph: Barbara Kinney/Hulu
The inside story of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign
After Hillary Clinton’s defeat in 2016, her campaign was unsure what to do with more than 2,000 hours of behind-the-scenes footage. Filmmaker Nanette Burstein had the answer: Hillary, a four-part documentary that unspools Clinton’s biography – and turns it into a story of hope, writes Xan Brooks.
The anti-racist reading list
When this news cycle is over, the social justice memes are no longer posted, and declarations for inclusivity and diversity have died down, how should we continue the struggle against white supremacy? Layla F Saad compiles a reading list for those prepared to “do the work”.

Opinion: #BlackOutTuesday was an embarrassment

At a moment of shocking state violence, posting a black square on Instagram was not only a facile attempt at armchair activism, says Fatima Bhutto, it also actively disrupted efforts to spread information about police violence against protesters.
No matter the occasion, social media can always be relied upon to gaze deep into its collective navel. Whereas 24 hours earlier, users had been posting legal information, names of pro bono lawyers and bail funds, filming videos of wanton cruelty and abuses of power, now they were shtum, save for the sanctimonious black squares.

Last Thing: Here be (baby) dragons

A baby dragon goes on show to the public at Slovenia’s Postojna Cave.
A baby dragon goes on show to the public at Slovenia’s Postojna Cave. Photograph: Ziga Intihar/Postojna Cave

On Wednesday, Slovenia’s vast Postojna cave system will re-open to the public after the coronavirus lockdown, and with it the world’s first display of “baby dragons”: olms, mysterious underground amphibians that retain juvenile characteristics for the entirety of their 100-year lifespans



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