The outrage over George Floyd’s death at the hands of a racist police officer, which triggered riots in 140 cities across the United States and forced President Donald Trump to threaten military action against protestors, highlighted the importance of "the streets." Attempts to reshape politics through street protests have repeatedly captured the world’s attention over the last three decades. The Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, along with other anti-communist uprisings across Eastern Europe, was hailed as a new wave of democratization. Although that revolution resulted in Czechoslovakia’s partition, most observers celebrated its peaceful nature.
The events that have unfolded in the wake of the killing of George Floyd will surely take their place in the history books. The nature of the demonstrations and the violence will likely be pored over by academics for years.
A wave of protests has been shaking the United States for the past week. The riots, which started in Minneapolis when a white police officer caused an African American's death by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes, spread to 25 major cities. As the initially peaceful anti-racist protests took a violent turn, the United States government deployed the National Guard and military units. The media reports, depicting streets on fire, luxury stores being looted and soldiers on the ground, make the U.S. seem like a Middle Eastern or African nation grappling with civil war.
One of the most important outcomes of the COVID-19 crisis will be its impact on U.S.-China relations, according to many scholars and experts. The already-strained relations between the two countries may be up for an even more challenging period in the second half of this year.
After three elections, Israel’s new coalition government was finally sworn in on Sunday. Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu will serve as prime minister for the government’s first 18 months before being replaced by Blue and White leader Benny Gantz. The end of Israel’s government crisis stands to fuel fresh tensions in the Middle East. Israeli expansionism will be at the top of the country’s agenda during the hot summer months of the 72nd year of the Nakba.