Washington Post
Washington Post 1 Jun 2020

D.C. business owners clean up and brace for what's next

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Small business owners returned to clean up their vandalized shops in Washington D.C., on June 1 after peaceful protests turned violent the night before.


Amid the ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd, volunteers are banding together to help clean up their communities and bail protesters out of jail. In Los Angeles, a video of Black Lives Matter activist Courtney Nichole Gardner confronting two vandals who appear to be white has gone viral. "If you want to protest on our behalf, which we appreciate, please come out and do it in a way that is representative of what we are wanting and asking for: peace," she told CBS News.
Tense moments broke out Friday at the occupied zone in Seattle known as "CHOP." Protestors faced off against cops and city workers, who were apparently sent there to move the barricades after all these weeks of occupation. The standoff comes as small business owners say they are fed up with "CHOP," which stands for Capitol Hill Organized Protest. Local businesspeople have just filed a class action lawsuit accusing the city of Seattle of "enabling the occupation of CHOP."
Clean up operations have begun in India and Bangladesh after the most powerful cyclone to hit the Bay of Bengal in 20 years.
Cyclone Amphan killed at least 84 people and destroyed thousands of homes.
There are now concerns about the spread of coronavirus in emergency shelters where millions of people sought safety.
Al Jazeera's Elizabeth Puranam reports from New Delhi, India.
Emergency services and volunteers began clearing damage in Minneapolis on Saturday after violent unrest the previous night saw businesses left burnt out and ransacked. (May 30)

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-This is my father's store.
We got a call yesterday around 11:00
from the security that some people broke in.
In the beginning, it was few people, three, four people,
and then it was just huge crowds of like
20-and-up people going inside, just destroying things
and, you know, stealing some of the things.
We arrived at the scene around 11:30
and we stayed here, me and my brother,
throughout the whole night.
And while we were sitting here, we're watching the gas station
across the street getting robbed about five times.
Police had no control of anything.
When I was coming here, I was talking to them.
They were like three blocks down,
that my store is getting robbed.
They were like, you know, "All the stores are getting looted."
I was so shocked that this is the capital
of the United States of America, and literally it was gangs.
I've seen six, seven cars all together.
They go, they get out, they break things,
they go inside the cars, and they drive by.
They passed by this area 10, 15 times back and forth.
Police were passing back and forth.
And unfortunately, it was very scary.
Like, I was scared for my life.
I was scared for my business.
I personally sympathize with what happened.
I was very angry.
When the police was kneeling on George Floyd's neck
and watched him suffocate throughout the video,
I was very, very upset.
I showed it to my wife.
She was crying for hours.
I showed it to all my friends.
We were all, like, very upset.
And, you know, we were with the protesting of people
expressing their anger, but when it turned to chaos,
we're not supporting that at all.
I'm from Yemen.
I've seen this in my original country,
and it does not bring any peace.
It does not bring any justice.
It just causes more pain and suffering
to the people of this city.
We've been in this location since '64.
We were down there in '55,
and then me and my dad run this store now.
Around 8:00, they took a chair
and they threw it through the window, about 15 people.
Then there was chaos all through Tenleytown
and Chevy Chase and Masa.
They came in here 10:30, 10:45,
like crowds of 10 people at a time, you know, stealing.
So then, my dad and my brother came back here
after that happened around, like, 11:45,
and then I was on the cameras watching,
telling them what I was looking at.
And any time somebody would come, you know, they would
shine, like, flashlights and whatever on them.
And they stayed here all night
while I watched the cameras all night.
And then I came at, like, 4:00
and they went home to get some rest.
We're boarding up the fort.
You know, wood.
We're gonna wood up all this stuff
and then we're gonna hunker in tonight
and probably get a good amount of people to hang out in there.
We'll be ready if anybody tries to come back.
It's chaos.
When I say chaos, I'm talking like no control
over what's happening out there.
In this neighborhood last night, there was, like,
very, very little control from any sort of authority.
It was very scary.

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