Read & Resist: W’s Daily Briefing for June 3

From the LAPD’s Zoom call to outstanding personal essays by black activists and writers, here’s what to read up on today.

Back in the day, W started off the morning with a quick round-up of links to that day’s fashion- and culture-related news. Times have changed; in the week since a white police officer named Derek Chauvin killed an unarmed black man named George Floyd, protests have erupted across the country, which seems to be devolving more into a police state by the day. Now, more than ever, it’s important to stay up to date, which is why we’re reviving “Chic in Review” as the slightly more radical “Read & Resist.” Here are the stories, videos, and tweets we’re hoping you don’t miss this Wednesday:

“‘This Can’t Be Happening’: An Oral History of 48 Surreal, Violent, Biblical Minutes in Washington”

This is a must-read for the week. Washington Post reporters compiled a play-by-play of the events in Washington on Monday, recounted by protesters, bystanders, Trump supporters, government workers, and more. They recalled where they were and how they felt when Donald Trump called on police officers and federal law enforcement to use riot-control tactics on a peaceful protest in order to clear the way as he walked to St. John’s Church, where he then stood in front of the historic building holding up a bible while explosions, screams, and sounds of violence echoed in the distance.

“How Oakland Students Got 15,000 People to March Against Police Violence on Monday”

Two teenagers, Xavier Brown and Akil Riley, organized the largest march against police violence and the death of George Floyd in the Northern California Bay Area on Monday. This is the story of how they organized a turnout of 15,000 protesters—not surprising for Gen-Zers, it all started with a text.

“We Can’t Breathe”

The legendary political writer and activist Gary Younge just published an extraordinary article concerning Britain’s role in this movement. “One need not crudely transpose the US racial landscape on to Britain’s to see how the issues raised by Floyd’s killing could pollinate across the Atlantic and find a receptive home here,” Younge writes.

“There’s One Big Reason Why Police Brutality Is So Common In The US. And That’s The Police Unions.”

For this story, Melissa Segura reported on how police unions have moved further toward the Right following the establishment of the Black Lives Matter movement and the Obama administration. “The unions have political clout—offering politicians a big voting block of their members and those who support them,” Segura points out. “They also raise campaign contributions for elected officials who support their agenda.”

“‘What Do We Do? Do We Arrest Them?’: Inside the NYPD, Frustration, Confusion, and De Blasio-Blaming”

The cops speak on the cops and the frenzied situation inside New York’s City Hall. “The idea of policing is to protect life, that’s first and foremost, but [protesters are] not attacking each other,” one police officer told writer Diana Falzone. “They’re not killing each other. They’re not hurting each other…So, are we mustering up in these locations…just to be attacked?”

“Protests Renew Scrutiny of Tech’s Ties to Law Enforcement”

Big tech like Google and Amazon are stating their “support” in the “fight against systemic racism and injustice” online, but they’re the companies providing invasive materials to police, like surveillance and facial recognition tools. The issue is part of a larger conversation concerning brands and corporations’ roles in activism: Are their attempts to propel the cause forward legitimate or performative?

“Why People Loot”

For those feeling conflicted about the damage done to businesses, The Atlantic’s Olga Khazan has a thoroughly researched, historical and sociological look at why some people loot. “Most of the experts I spoke with agreed that looting is a side effect of protests, which are a side effect of the conditions causing the protests,” Khazan writes. “In this case, the root cause is yet another killing of a black man by a white police officer. To fully eliminate looting, you’d have to eliminate the conditions that make people upset enough to protest.”

“You Should Be Feeling Miserable”

This brilliant personal essay by writer Rebecca Carroll outlines the need for moral intervention by white people. “I want white people to stop killing us, but I also want white people to stop watching us get killed—to disarm their emotional paralysis in the face of dehumanization or worse,” she writes.

“Tag Yourself: Which of These Incredible LAPD Disses Are You?”

An hours-long meeting on Zoom with the Los Angeles Police Commission featured an open comments portion, which let anyone who wanted to air out their frustrations with the LAPD. And air it out they did.


Food for Thought

Related: The Messages of Solidarity From Protesters in New York City