Monday Sunrise Briefing: Nationwide protests for accountability

AP Photo/Shmuel Thale
Santa Cruz, Calif., Police Chief Andy Mills, right, and Santa Cruz Mayor Justin Cummings, center, take a knee along with hundreds gathered on Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz on Saturday May 30, 2020 to honor the memory of George Floyd.

Demands for justice and accountability fueled street protests in dozens of U.S. cities this weekend that were mostly peaceful by day but often erupted into violence after dark. The scale of the anger over police brutality, sweeping from coast to coast, rivaled the historic demonstrations of the civil rights and Vietnam War eras

The violence this weekend was frequently blamed on the far left (Antifa), the far right (white supremacists), and “outsiders.” After the looting, volunteers turned out en masse to sweep the streets of debris in Phoenix, Minneapolis, and Atlanta. In a few cities, police were seen kneeling with - or marching alongside - demonstrators. Curfews imposed in major cities appeared to somewhat reduce the looting, vandalism, and fires. But the National Guard has been activated in at least 15  states and Washington, D.C. More than 4,400 people were arrested this weekend, according to the Associated Press. 

 The “I can’t breathe” protest also went global, including demonstrations in London, Rio de Janeiro, Toronto, and Berlin.  Russia, Iran, and China seized on George Floyd’s death as emblematic of American racism and hypocrisy. “Should Beijing support protests in the U.S., like you glorified rioters in Hong Kong?” asked one Chinese editor.

Why We Wrote This

Good morning! Welcome to your Monday, June 1, 2020, sunrise briefing.

Here are two news events from this past weekend (while you may have been reading “The Ickabog,” participating in a scavenger hunt, and enjoying an offline life). Also, what to look for in the news this week.

 2. An emerging partnership. This weekend saw another successful milestone in the transition to a government-commercial partnership in reaching space. On Saturday, two American astronauts were lifted into space aboard a SpaceX rocket. On Sunday, the SpaceX Dragon capsule pulled up to the International Space Station and docked automatically, no human pilot needed. It was the first time a privately built and owned spacecraft carried astronauts to the space station in its more than 20 years of existence. NASA considers this the opening move in a cooperative business revolution, with the next stops being trips to the moon and Mars.

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
Thousands of people in Florida watch as the SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts off with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in the Dragon crew capsule, Saturday, May 30, 2020 from Cape Canaveral, Fla. Shown here are spectators on a bridge in Titusville, Florida.

Look Ahead

Monday, June 1

Let the games begin, again. NCAA student athletes are allowed to return to their respective fields of play. Colleges are opening facilities for player-organized practices, as a similar reopening takes place among professional teams.

Tuesday, June 2

Democracy in a pandemic. Presidential primaries are scheduled for seven states (Indiana, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Dakota) plus the District of Columbia. Many states are allowing mail-in voting.

Thursday, June 4

Judicial watch. Three white Georgia men are scheduled to appear in court today for a preliminary hearing into the death of Ahmaud Arbery, who was fatally shot while jogging. 

Gender equality history. On this day, 100 years ago, the U.S. Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving women the right to vote. It wasn’t ratified until August of 1920.

Friday, June 5

First out of the gate. Universal Orlando plans to reopen today with mandatory face masks and temperature checks for guests. It’s the first Florida theme park to reopen. Walt Disney World says it plans to reopen on July 11. 

Saturday, June 6

DNC sneak preview? The presumptive Democratic nominee will close out the Texas Democratic party’s online state convention. It could be a test run for a digital national convention for the party, scheduled in August. 

Generosity Watch

Famous Toastery via Facebook.
An anonymous couple left a $1,000 tip at the Famous Toastery restaurant in Wilimington, North Carolina, on May 23, 2020.

Leaving a big tip is one way to show appreciation for people in the service sector who have been out of work or working fewer hours during the pandemic lockdown.

Last week, Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Andre Drummond left a $1,000 tip for a waitress in Delray Beach, Florida, which left her “shaking” and with “tears of happiness.”

Almost two weeks ago, former NFL star Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson expressed his gratitude at Havana's Cuban Cuisine in Cooper City, Florida with a $1,000 tip on a $37 meal.

That kind of generosity means a lot to those struggling in the restaurant industry. Here’s another $1,000 tip left with a twist.  On May 23, a couple left a big anonymous "thank you" for a meal at Famous Toastery in Wilmington, North Carolina. What happened next took it to another level. The $1,000 tip was shared with the entire staff - the front and back (kitchen) staff, according to the restaurant’s Facebook post. 

There’s so much kindness in this world. There really is,” Jamie Kloiber, the owner of the breakfast eatery told WECT-TV news.

Hidden gem

Start your week with a recent story that inspired Monitor readers:

Opera alfresco: How a Seattle singer shares his gift during COVID-19

Sneak preview

In tonight’s Daily Edition, watch for the next story in our leadership coverage: Why Ohio's Republican governor is now the most popular in the nation. 

Finally, check out the Monitor’s selected stories from Friday's subscription-only Daily Edition:

  1. Despite furor, accountability lags for police. Here’s why it might change.
  2. How long can Americans live in a state of emergency?
  3. ‘Friendliest boundary in the world’ divides families in pandemic
  4. ‘It’s just chaos.’ One family’s struggle to make the new normal work
  5. A new stone soup: Idle restaurants fire up to feed the hungry

Editor’s note: As a public service, all our coronavirus coverage is free. No paywall.

This is a beta test - an experiment with an early Monday news update. Please give us your feedback via the link below and let us know what you think. Thank you!

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