Morning Briefing: From A Pandemic To An Uprising
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For the past few months, I’ve been starting this newsletter, almost without exception, with news about the coronavirus. But this weekend, an uprising erupted in Los Angeles and across the country to protest police brutality, American racism and the systematic injustice that led to the death of George Floyd, taking our collective minds off the pandemic in one impassioned moment.
Protests began last Wednesday and grew exponentially by Friday. Over the weekend, they expanded from downtown L.A. to the Fairfax district, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Culver City. Speaking to Libby Denkmann, Melina Abdullah of Black Lives Matter-LA said the decision to hold protests in higher-income, predominantly white areas was deliberate.
"Going to Pan Pacific Park was absolutely about letting white folks who are from more affluent backgrounds understand or get a little glimpse of what we experience as black people every day," Abdullah said.
It’s unlikely I’ll say anything here that hasn’t already been said, but much of it bears repeating. The release of pent-up pain and frustration we’ve seen this week is the result of centuries of wrongdoing at best, and unthinkable brutality at worst. That this moment has arrived during a global pandemic certainly adds to its apocalyptic feel; the sensation that things aren’t as they were last week, at which time things weren’t as they were weeks before that.
We are at a crossroads in history – none of us knows where it will land, but all of us are part of it. We can only decide for ourselves what that part will be.
Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.
Coming Up Today, June 1
Catch virtual art show openings. Watch Darren Criss' new show, which spoofs the world of songwriting. Contribute to a crowd-sourced art project about reading. Tune into a concert that benefits the historic Apollo Theater. Christine N. Ziemba has this week’s quarantine-approved events.
After you flash your ID to TSA and pull liquids out of your carry-on baggage, you might be asked to reveal something else this summer – your body temperature. It’s being considered by LAX, one of many changes passengers could face. Sharon McNary has more.
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The Past 48 Hours In LA
L.A. Protests: The city entered days four and five of protests sparked by the death of George Floyd. Skid Row Pastor Stephen "Cue" Jn-Marie says protesters are angry not just about police brutality, but about income inequality, capitalism and more. An 8 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. curfew was put in place for the entire city, and the National Guard was called in. See the weekend in photos.
Local Officials Weigh In: L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin said "we need to pay as much attention to the violence that is causing people like George Floyd to die" as we do to any acts of violence — such as looting and vandalism — intended to usurp and "discredit legitimate protest."
The Aftermath: Following a night that left some stores with smashed windows and looted merchandise, Angelenos came together to help with the cleanup. And, we want to hear your thoughts and questions on the weekend’s events.
Coronavirus In Numbers: There are now 55,001 coronavirus cases and 2,362 deaths in L.A. County, and at least 111,776 cases and 4.171 deaths in California. Worldwide, there are more than 6.1 million cases and over 371,000 deaths.
Let’s Just Go To Mars Or Something: Amid everything, there was an historic space launch.
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