D.C. and Burlington, Saturday, May 30

Eyewitness accounts from protests and developments in Washington D.C. and Burlington Vermont against the police murder of George Floyd.


J., Washington D.C.

Last night: aggressive confrontations with the police in Washington, D.C.

Flash bangs, pepper bullets, strong police lines, barricade set up on I Street, bricks through bank windows with graffiti “CAPITALISM KILLS.”

Attempts to take back the White House lawn, not sure if successful. (I left after a particularly alarming stampede.)

Very diverse crowd, mostly quite young but not exclusively.

Unplanned, ad hoc marching through the street.

I want to but will not tweet the following image “The people are here. Where’s labor?”

Traven, Burlington

Over 2,000 Vermonters rallied and marched on the Burlington Police Department in protest of the racist murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department. Vermont DSA helped build the Burlington, Montpelier, and Upper Valley protests. Another demonstration is happening in Brattleboro today (May 31).

In Burlington, the demonstrations were led by Black Lives Matter (BLM). In front of the police station, lead BLM organizer Harmony Edosomwan vocalized grievances felt by Burlington communities regarding the police department’s recent use of force and the targeting of minority communities: “Their blood is on your hands, if you don’t do anything to fix this motherfucking department!… If another motherfucking Black person, brown person — or even a motherfucking white person — dies on one of y’all’s … hands…” bellowed Edosomwan.

Vermont AFL-CIO leaders promoted and participated in the protests. Vermont AFL-CIO president and DSA member David Van Deusen issued the following statement.

“The Vermont AFL-CIO stands in solidarity with Black communities across the United States, and all People of Color (in Vermont and beyond) who refuse to acquiesce to racist state violence and economic exploitation. People have a moral and political right and responsibility to engage in self defense, protest, and rebellion when faced with oppression. The racist murders of Black men, POC, and working people at the hands of the State must be brought to an end by any effective means necessary.”

J. is a member of Metro DC DSA. Traven is president of the Green Mountain Labor Council (AFL-CIO), is an activist in Central Vermont DSA. They are both members of DSA's Bread & Roses caucus.