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Overseas criticism pours in on Ferguson

Updated: 2014-12-02 07:49
By Agencies in Washington and Beijing (China Daily)

Darren Wilson, a white police officer who shot a black teenager dead in Ferguson, Missouri, has resigned, but his resignation has not halted the unrest that followed a grand jury decision to not indict him.

Protests in the small town have flared up, spilled over to about 170 US cities and triggered a national debate over race relations and police power after the grand jury announced a week ago that Wilson would face no criminal charges in the August shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

That decision has provoked criticism and protests outside the United States.

The Spanish center-left newspaper El Pais said Ferguson is "the traumas of the US".

The newspaper mentioned that Ferguson was founded by slave owners and "discriminatory attitudes persist and have crushed the hopes that Obama's arrival in the White House brought in 2009".

France's Le Figaro newspaper said the chaos in Ferguson will force Obama to face the racial issues in the country.

"It destroys the hopes of those who had naively believed that the election of the first black president in the United States would bring the country into a 'post-racial' era. Obama is now caught by the black question," the newspaper said.

In London, about 1,500 people joined protests at the US embassy on Wednesday to support Brown's family.

Human rights abuses

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea said on Friday the ongoing mass protests against racial discrimination exposed severe human rights abuses in the US.

"This is a clear proof of the real picture of the United States ... where extreme racial discrimination acts are openly practiced," a DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman was quoted by the country's official KCNA news agency as saying.

Many of President Barack Obama's supporters who had hoped his presidency would serve as a platform to bridge the country's racial divides are disappointed at his cautious stance on the racial issue, and many have demanded he make a trip to Ferguson to see the problems there.

Cautious attitude

Obama condemned the looting and arson, but said he understood those who believe law enforcement treats black suspects like Brown harshly.

This time, experts say Obama has been cautious about not injecting himself in a need for change and dialogue nationwide on the racial issue and still walks a fine line when the issue exacerbates a crisis.

Obama was scheduled to meet at the White House on Monday with Cabinet members and civil rights leaders on issues related to Ferguson, the White House said in a statement on Sunday.

The meeting with cabinet members will include a discussion of a review Obama ordered in August of federal programs that provide equipment to local law enforcement agencies, the statement said.

US protesters turned out to boycott Black Friday, aiming to highlight the limited purchasing power of black US citizens and draw links between economic and racial inequality.

Two large shopping malls in Missouri were shut down. At least 200 protesters entered the Galleria Mall just south of Ferguson shortly after 1 pm local time on Friday, lying on the floor to block footsteps, chanting "No Black Friday".

Similar protests were also staged in other cities including Los Angeles and Oakland, California. Protesters blocked off a train station in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Xinhua - AP

 Overseas criticism pours in on Ferguson

A football fan applauds police officers as they watch as demonstrators protest the shooting death of Michael Brown on Sunday in St. Louis, Missouri. US President Barack Obama will discuss the situation in Ferguson on Monday with his cabinet. Joshua Lott / Agence France-Presse

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