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Entertainment Spike Lee on what's different about these protests

22:15  01 june  2020
22:15  01 june  2020 Source:   msn.com

Spike Lee will be president of the Cannes Film Festival jury in 2021

 Spike Lee will be president of the Cannes Film Festival jury in 2021 ​​© Supplied by Vanity Fair The Covid-19 crisis will have got the better of the organization of the 2020 edition of the Festival de Cannes . This great meeting of world cinema marked the return of Spike Lee on the Cannes red carpet. Chosen by the committee to head the jury for the 73rd edition, the director would have been the first black president of the Festival.

FILE - In this June 29, 2009 file photo, Spike Lee attends a special 20th anniversary screening of his film © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this June 29, 2009 file photo, Spike Lee attends a special 20th anniversary screening of his film "Do the Right Thing" in New York. The nationwide unrest following the death of George Floyd has again reminded many of the film. In an interview, he talks about the echoes of his film, what makes this moment different than protests before and his hopes for justice. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — It's not the first time that Spike Lee's “Do the Right Thing” has been freshly urgent, but Lee's 1989 film has again found blistering relevance in the wake of George Floyd's death.

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On Monday, Lee released a short film titled “3 Brothers" connecting the death of Radio Raheem (played by Bill Nunn) in “Do the Right Thing” to the deaths of Floyd and Eric Garner. Floyd died last week after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against his neck as he begged for air. Garner's dying plea of “I can't breathe” became a rallying cry against police brutality in 2014.

Blazed across the screen is the question: “Will history stop repeating itself?"

“I've seen this before. This is not new," Lee said in an interview with The Associated Press on Monday. “I was born in '57 so I was 11 years old when I saw the riots with Dr. King's assassination, later on with Rodney King and the Simi Valley verdict, Trayvon Martin and Ferguson.”

Spike Lee encouraged by the current Black Lives Matter protests

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Demonstrators kneel in a moment of silence outside the Long Beach Police Department on Sunday, May 31, 2020, in Long Beach during a protest over the death of George Floyd. Protests were held in U.S. cities over the death of Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis) © Provided by Associated Press Demonstrators kneel in a moment of silence outside the Long Beach Police Department on Sunday, May 31, 2020, in Long Beach during a protest over the death of George Floyd. Protests were held in U.S. cities over the death of Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

“People are tired and they take to the streets,” said Lee.

“Do the Right Thing,” about rising racial tensions on a hot summer day in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, took direct inspiration from reality. In the film, Raheem is choked to death by a police officer, sparking a riot.

Lee modeled the choke hold that kills Raheem on the murder of Michael Stewart, a graffiti artist who was killed by New York City police officers in 1983. Lee dedicated the film to Stewart’s family, as well as those of several other black people killed by police officers.

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A protest leader chants with demonstrators Sunday, May 31, 2020, after curfew in Minneapolis. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) © Provided by Associated Press A protest leader chants with demonstrators Sunday, May 31, 2020, after curfew in Minneapolis. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

“His death is not just made up. Many years later, Eric Garner, automatically I thought of Ray Raheem," said Lee. "Then to see my brother George Floyd. I mean, he was quoting the words of Eric Garner: ‘I can’t breathe.’ He was channeling Eric Garner. I’m sure of it.”

As much as Lee sees history repeating itself, there's one element of the current unrest that strikes the filmmaker as new.

“I've been very encouraged by the diversity of the protesters. I haven't seen this diverse protests since when I was a kid,” Lee said, citing the movements of the '60s. “I'm encouraged that my wife's sisters and brothers are out there.

"That is the hope of this country, this diverse, younger generation of Americans who don't want to perpetuate the same (expletive) that their parents and grandparents and great-grandparents got caught up in. That's my hope.”

'I've never seen so much force': Ellen Pompeo slams police 'aggression' at protests

  'I've never seen so much force': Ellen Pompeo slams police 'aggression' at protests Ellen Pompeo has slammed the "aggression" of police officers during the Black Lives Matter protests in the US. The 'Grey's Anatomy' star attended a protest for the cause last week, and has now spoken out to condemn the "force" she has seen used by police trying to control the protests, as she claims there was more "ammunition" present than compared to any protest she has been to in the past. In a video posted to her Instagram Story, Ellen said: "I've been to other protests. I've never seen police with machine guns [there]. I've never seen the National Guard with machine guns.

To illustrate the point, Lee cited cities with smaller black populations, like Des Moines, Iowa, where protests and riots have occurred.

“My young white sisters and brothers are out there in the streets. How many black folks are in Salt Lake City, Utah? And let's take into account that the NBA is not playing," said Lee, letting out an enormous cackle. "The Utah Jazz are not playing!”

“3 Brothers” is the second short Lee has released during the pandemic. While Lee has kept to his Upper East Side apartment with his family, he has also biked around the city to shoot. Lee's “New York, New York,” set to Frank Sinatra, was released in early May as an ode to his outbreak-stricken city. Next week, he'll release on Netflix “Da Five Bloods," a Vietnam War drama about four black veterans who return to Vietnam to find the remains of their fallen squad leader (Chadwick Boseman).

Demonstrators gather to protest the death of George Floyd, Sunday, May 31, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) © Provided by Associated Press Demonstrators gather to protest the death of George Floyd, Sunday, May 31, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Lee has only modest hopes for justice in the aftermath of Floyd's death. Attorney General William Barr he calls “not a friend to justice.” “He's going to do what Agent Orange tell him to do,” said Lee, using his favored nickname for President Donald Trump.

But Lee has been buoyed by a photo of New York police officers kneeling with protesters, an image he likened to Colin Kaepernick's NFL protests.

“They need to show the image more,” said Lee. “Colin Kaepernick is a patriot.”

___

Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/JakeCoyleAP

"Racism is everyday life for us blacks": NFL professional Equanimeous St. Brown supports protests .
© Sarah Stier St. Brown complains about everyday racism in the USA Germany's greatest football hope Equanimeous St. Brown has clearly positioned itself in the fight against racism . "I am very happy that there is finally a protest and we will be heard. That is long overdue. Racism is everyday life for us blacks," said the Green Bay Packers wide receiver to the sports buzzer. It was important "that many people take part in the protests," added the 23-year-old: "We can influence history." St.

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