People stand around the Confederate statue after it was toppled by protesters at Judiciary Square in Washington. AFP
Protesters in Washington toppled a statue of a Confederate general late Friday, after nationwide rallies to demand racial justice on a day heavy with symbolism -- the Juneteenth holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.
Late on Friday a statue of Confederate general Albert Pike was torn down by demonstrators in the capital and set on fire, in an act labelled a "disgrace" by Trump.
"The D.C. police are not doing their job as they watch a statue be ripped down & burn. These people should be immediately arrested," Trump tweeted.
Demonstrations were held in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington against a backdrop of weeks of protests fueled by the deaths of African Americans at the hands of police.
In a stark illustration of the tensions roiling the nation, President Donald Trump issued a solemn White House statement commemorating Juneteenth, while also threatening protesters on Twitter ahead of his controversial rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday.
Juneteenth marks the day -- June 19, 1865 -- when a Union general arrived in Galveston, Texas and informed slaves that they were free -- two months after the Civil War had ended and two-and-a-half years after president Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
The date is generally celebrated with prayer services and family gatherings, but comes this year amid a national soul-searching over America's legacy of racial injustice.
The United States has been gripped by daily "Black Lives Matter" protests since the May 25 death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man killed by a white police officer in Minnesota.
Earlier, several thousand demonstrators marched across New York's Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan, chanting the names of black men and women killed by police in recent years.
"This year the entire country has had a reckoning," said protester Tabatha Bernard, 38, voicing support for growing calls for Juneteenth to be declared a national holiday.
"It's up to us to keep this going until we have change."
Protesters in Atlanta, where a police officer was charged with murder this week for shooting a black man in the back, marched on the Georgia State Capitol.
More gathered in Washington outside the Lincoln Memorial and near the White House, while thousands marched in Chicago and danced at festive rallies in South Los Angeles.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, who has a solid lead over Trump in the latest polls, said Juneteenth reminded Americans "that our country is capable of the worst violence and injustice but it also has an incredible capacity to be reborn anew."
In Tulsa -- where Trump on Saturday is set to hold his first campaign rally since the coronavirus pandemic began -- a Juneteenth celebration was attended by several thousand protesters.
"We've seen more unity and more blacks and whites together in the last three weeks than we've ever seen in a Trump rally," civil rights activist Al Sharpton told a press conference.
Trump had originally scheduled his Tulsa appearance for Juneteenth, but was forced to change it amid a public outcry over his provocative choice of date and location.
The city's Greenwood district was the site of one of the country's worst racist massacres, in 1921, when as many as 300 black Americans were killed.
"We just want the world to know what happened here," said Greenwood store owner Tony Williams, labelling Trump's arrival "disrespectful."
About a mile away, dozens of Trump followers have camped out for several nights ahead of the rally in order to get the best seats.
"This is a super important moment for all of us... we're out here supporting Trump," said Stephen Corley, 19.
Demonstrators blocked an interstate highway and set alight the Wendy's restaurant where 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was killed late Saturday, local media reported. This came hours after Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the resignation of Chief Erika Shields.
The death of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was ruled a homicide by the county medical examiner's office on Sunday, a day after Wendy's restaurant where he died was set on fire and hundreds of people marched to denounce the killing.
If there was ever a moment when it seemed certain that the old American way of policing was dead, it came in early June with the drone footage of a river of tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter protesters
The region's governor Alexander Brechalov confirmed there were "casualties and wounded among children", speaking in a video statement outside school No88 in Izhevsk.
The FSB said it had arrested the Japanese consul in the act of obtaining classified information about the impact of Western sanctions on the economic situation in Russia's Far East.
The visa is issued to all nationalities for a period of 5 years, without a guarantor, and allows the beneficiary to stay in the country for a continuous period not exceeding 90 days, and it may be extended for a longer period, provided that it does not exceed 180 days per year.
Palestinian media reported that hundreds of settlers stormed Al Aqsa Square from the Mughrabi Gate, with strict protection from the Israeli forces, in the form of groups, each of which includes 50 settlers, and performed Talmudic rituals and carried out provocative tours in the mosque’s courtyards.