World Socialist Website - September 2, 2020

President Donald Trump made an appearance in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday as demonstrations against police violence continued in the aftermath of the August 23 police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old African American worker. Kenosha police shot the unarmed Blake seven times in the back, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.

On the eve of the visit, yet another unarmed man was shot and killed by US police, this time in Los Angeles, provoking protests in that city. Since May 25, the day George Floyd was brutally murdered by a Minneapolis police officer, at least 235 people have been killed by police in the US. The pace of killings is on track to surpass 1,000 this year, with nearly three people shot dead by the police every day.

Trump went to Kenosha, an impoverished “rust belt” Democratic-run city in a Democratic-run state, to escalate the law-and-order campaign attacking social protest and socialism and promoting police repression and right-wing vigilante violence that was the theme of last week’s Republican National Convention. The strategy of Trump and the Republicans in the final two months of the presidential campaign is to incite far-right forces and hold the November 3 election under conditions of violence, political instability and the threat of civil war.

Trump and the Republicans are seeking to make an amalgam between the right-wing Democratic campaign of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and left-wing protesters, whom the White House demonizes as criminal anarchists and looters, in line with Trump’s goal of establishing a presidential dictatorship.

At a White House press conference on Monday, Trump defended Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old Trump supporter who joined with a band of vigilantes on the night of August 25 to confront protesters in Kenosha and fatally shot two peaceful demonstrators. Rittenhouse also shot and wounded a third protester.

The Kenosha police, as recorded on cell phone video watched by millions, thanked the fascistic gunmen, gave them water, and allowed the automatic rifle-toting Rittenhouse to walk through police lines after his shooting spree and return home to Illinois. Rittenhouse was subsequently charged with first-degree homicide and is facing extradition to Wisconsin.

Trump, however, said Rittenhouse acted in self-defense and otherwise would have been killed by the protesters. At the same press conference, he defended Trump supporters who drove a truck caravan into downtown Portland on Saturday and fired paintballs and pepper spray on demonstrators. The provocation resulted in the shooting death of a right-wing activist under circumstances that remain unclear. ...
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