June 6 coverage of nationwide unrest and ongoing protests

Here are the latest updates on protests across the country about George Floyd's death.
Image: Black Lives Matter demonstration
Demonstrators walk along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington on Saturday.Andrew Harnik / AP

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE

This live coverage has now ended. Continue reading June 7 coverage of George Floyd's death and the nationwide protests.

Demonstrations are taking place this weekend as the national anger over the death of George Floyd showed little sign of abating.

In Washington D.C., thousands of people gathered to protest both Floyd's death and President Donald Trump's use of military personnel in response to largely peaceful demonstrations. After more than a week of protests in Washington, city officials said they expected Saturday to be the largest demonstration yet with potential for tens of thousands of people taking to the streets.

Meanwhile, Floyd's family members gathered for a song- and prayer-filled private memorial service in North Carolina on Saturday after an earlier public viewing of his body drew long lines of mourners from around the country.

Download the NBC News app for the latest updates.

Pompeo criticizes China for using George Floyd death for 'political gain'

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has criticized China for using the death of black American George Floyd for "its own political gain."

Pompeo didn't refer to a specific incident but called the ruling communist party "callous." 

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Pompeo has become an outspoken critic of China, often engaging in a tense war-of-words, which some experts have dubbed a new cold war between the two powers.

House Oversight Committee wants to know more about unidentified officers in D.C.

The House Oversight Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr seeking information about the “sudden surge of federal and unidentified law enforcement officers in the District of Columbia following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis.” 

The Committee is requesting a number of documents and information by June 10, including a list of departments and agencies that have been activated since June 1 to enforce federal law in D.C., the number of law enforcement officers deployed or assigned, and the overall mission of the federal law enforcement response in the city.

The letter reads in part, “The vast majority of protests in the District of Columbia have been peaceful. It appears that the massive influx of federal forces is intended to assert authoritarian power over the District of Columbia rather than to protect federal property, enforce federal law, or protect people exercising their First Amendment rights by protesting systemic racial inequalities within the U.S. criminal justice system.”

Hong Kong black lives matter event cancelled due to coronavirus and politics, organizers say

HONG KONG - Organizers of a black lives matter solidarity protest in Hong Kong, planned for Sunday, cancelled the event amid fears that other groups may use it to "push their own agenda" and worries over breaching social distancing rules in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the event organizers Max Percy told NBC News that there was large interest in the event meant to honor George Floyd. 

"It has come to our attention that due to the number of people trying to use this event to push their own agenda, there are concerns that the event will no longer abide by the terms set by the Hong Kong Police and we have been forced to cancel," Percy wrote on a now deleted Facebook page.

"This is an enormous shame that people have lost sight of the reason why we were doing this event in the first place ... We are saddened by the state of Hong Kong."

Protesters have taken to the streets of Hong Kong multiple times this year to challenge Beijing-led security laws and to mark the recent anniversary of the 1989 quashing of demonstrations in Tiananmen Square.

Black girls and supporters surf around the world to honor George Floyd

From California to Indonesia, Senegal and Australia, black girls and supporters floated on surfboards on Friday to pay tribute to George Floyd, the black man whose death in U.S. police custody has sparked protests worldwide.

The "Solidarity in Surfing" events in more than 100 locations were organized by Black Girls Surf, a group founded in 2014 to teach the sport to girls of color aged 5 to 17.

In Santa Monica, California, about 200 surfers of various ages and races waded into the water for a paddle out, a traditional Hawaiian ceremony to celebrate the life of someone who has died.

About 200 yards offshore, they held a moment of silence while floating on their boards in a large circle, and placed yellow, pink and red flowers in the water.

French police ban George Floyd solidarity protest citing coronavirus fears

French police banned a handful of protests against racism and police brutality in Paris on Saturday, citing fears of coronavirus spread.

They had been due to take place outside the U.S. embassy and underneath the city's iconic Eiffel tower, until the Prefecture de Police banned them. 

Many protesters were nonetheless expected to defy the order and risk clashing with police. Organizers have called for peaceful demonstrations that respect social distancing measures, in place to stem the spread of coronavirus. 

A demonstration last week against police violence and racism was banned by authorities, but 20,000 people still showed up to protest near the Palais de Justice.

 

People run from tear gas as they attend a banned demonstration in front of courthouse in Paris, France June 2, 2020.GONZALO FUENTES / Reuters

White House compares Trump-Churchill leadership styles, and historians scoff

This week, the White House has likened Donald Trump to Winston Churchill, the hard-drinking and eccentric prime minister who led Britain as it faced off against the Nazis during World War II.

Some historians have responded to that with a resounding: Mr. President, you're no Winston Churchill.

Others, meanwhile, have raised Churchill's troubling record on race, saying the American president shouldn't try to emulate the British leader whose disturbing views on race were rooted in 19th-century colonialism.

Read the full story here.

The Conservative statesman and war-time leader Sir Winston Churchill at his Kent home, England.Hulton Deutsch / Corbis via Getty Images file

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz says community has 'begun to rebuild'

Governor of Minnesota Tim Walz said on Saturday night the community where black man George Floyd was killed by a white police officer, was showing "signs of resilience" and starting to rebuild.

But there was still a lot of work ahead, he warned. 

Canadian pilot draws solidarity fist in the sky

A pilot in Canada marked out a fist in the sky through his flight path as a gesture against police brutality and racism.

Dimitri Neonakis took to the skies above Halifax in Canada to create the fist image. 

"I see a world of one race with many colours in which everyone of us can 'breath free'," he wrote on Twitter.

Protests take place in Australia, Japan and Thailand

Thousands of people took to the streets in Australia on Saturday to support protests against police brutality across the U.S.

Demonstrations were limited by social-distancing curbs due to the coronavirus pandemic. But in Brisbane, police estimated 10,000 people joined a peaceful protest, wearing masks. Many wrapped themselves in indigenous flags, calling for an end to police mistreatment of indigenous Australians. 

Protests also took place in Japan and others were planned in South Korea, while a virtual rally was also set to be held in Thailand.

In Sydney, a last-minute court decision overruled a coronavirus ban as several thousand people marched, amid a heavy police presence, chanting: "Whose lives matter? Black Lives matter."

In Tokyo, marchers protested against what they said was police treatment of a Kurdish man who says he was stopped while driving and shoved to the ground, leaving him with bruises. "No justice, no peace, no racist police," the crowd chanted.

Judge orders Denver police to stop firing tear gas, projectiles at peaceful protesters