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'South Asians for Biden' demand justice for George Floyd and his family

Lalit K Jha

Washington, Jun 2 (PTI) Standing in solidarity with the African-American community, 'South Asians for Biden', a volunteer organisation dedicated to galvanising support for former Vice President Joe Biden, has demanded justice for the custodial killing of George Floyd and his family.

Floyd, 46, was pinned to the ground in Minneapolis last week by a white police officer who kneeled on his neck as he gasped for breath. His death has triggered violent protests across the US.

'South Asians for Biden stands in strong solidarity with the African American community and demands justice for George Floyd and his family,' said Neha Dewan, national director of South Asians for Biden (SAB).

Communities of colour, black men and women in particular, experience systemic and ingrained racism when interacting with law enforcement and the justice system, resulting in death, injury, trauma, and unwarranted incarceration, she said.

'The disparity in treatment is plain for all to see, particularly when considering that just a few weeks ago, President Donald Trump recklessly encouraged his mostly white supporters to defy lawful public health orders, and is now characterising peaceful protesters in the wake of George Floyd's death as lawless,' Dewan said.

In the wake of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Floyd, and countless others who have fallen victim to injustice, it is clear that America needs a leader who can unite the country, now more than ever, she said.

'Yesterday, while President Trump hid in his bunker instead of addressing our country, Vice President Biden met with protesters and urged the country to unite behind an agenda for racial and social justice. The contrast could not be clearer,' Dewan said.

Protesting against the daylight murder of Floyd is right and necessary, said Ajay Jain Bhutoria, National Finance Committee Member of the Biden for President and Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Leadership Council for Biden.

'It's an utterly human response. At the same time burning down small businesses, looting stores and needless destruction of communities is an act no one should be supporting or carrying out in name of protests,' he said.

Bhutoria said in a statement that today messages of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr were very relevant to people who are involved in looting, violence and destruction.

'Todays protestors in USA and around the world can learn lessons on the art of protesting from Gandhiji and Martin Luther King's strategies. Both pursued a very peaceful resistance and were effective in fighting injustices,' he said.

'As an Indian-American, I strongly stand with black Americans and join hands in fight against injustice and racism.

'We are committed to supporting black communities, centering black voices, and following the example of black movement leaders as we work to eradicate systems of white supremacy, and bringing equality for all races whether brown, black, white or of any colour. So as all Americans breathe in and breathe out freely,' Bhutoria said.

Considered to be the worst ever civil unrest in the US in decades, the violent protests have engulfed at least 140 cities across America in the days following the death of Floyd.

Over 4,000 people have been arrested and curfews imposed in at least 40 cities. PTI LKJ MRJ MRJ