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Thousands March In Spain In Solidarity With George Floyd; Protesters Pull Down Statue Of 17th Century Slave Trader; Thousands Rally Against West Bank Annexation; Peaceful Protest Against Racism and Police Brutality Demands for Change; White House Plans to Address the Nation; Colin Powell Criticizes President Trump's Handling of the Nationwide Protests; Minneapolis City Council Plans to Disband Police Department; New York Celebrates Flattening the Curve While Latin American Countries Reports High Number of Deaths; Visitors to U.K. to Self-Isolate for 14 Days; Governor of Tokyo Answers Questions Regarding Tokyo Olympics. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired June 8, 2020 - 02:00   ET




MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I am Michael Holmes. Thanks for your company.

Nearly two weeks of protests against racism and police brutality in the United States are starting to focus on specific demands for change.


Thousands of people marching in Washington Sunday chanting George Floyd's name and "I can't breathe." Pouring rain did not stop protesters marching through Billings, Montana. And demonstrators in Los Angeles called for police reforms and for the department to be defunded.

Meanwhile, U.S. House Democrats will propose reform legislation Monday to end racial profiling, the excessive use of force, and qualified immunity for police officers.

And in a stark contrast to the shutdowns for the coronavirus pandemic, anti-racism protesters are being jamming streets in cities all around the world. Activists in Rome taking a knee for eight minutes in memory of George Floyd.

The former officer who put his knee on Floyd's neck is expected to make a court appearance in the coming hours. Derek Chauvin is charged with second degree murder.

And protesters in New York City claiming small victories as the city's mayor begins to make concessions, but they say there is still a long way to go. Bill Weir is out in the crowd. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Greetings from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where a massive protest of about 4,000 to 5,000 people is just breaking up in a community known for the strong Hasidic Jewish population here.

A very diverse, again, very peaceful crowd, been listening to police scanners all throughout the day where the word orderly was repeated again and again and again, thankfully.

And as a result of several days of really peaceful, nonviolent protest, Mayor de Blasio lifted the curfew in New York City a day early, 100 days after the first coronavirus case was confirmed. The first phase of reopening, America's biggest city is underway.

About 400,000 people are expected to go back to work and it will be interesting to see what that does to the momentum of these protests as people slowly get back to work.

The cries for police reform seem to be having some affect after defending NYPD for a week and a half, both the governor and the mayor are now behind police reform bills, including Bill de Blasio's pledge to for the first time take money away from NYPD, part of the defund the police movement that seems to be sweeping the country.

They get about $6 billion a year which is more than the money spent on youth development, health services, homelessness combined. And people argue that if you take some of the money from NYPD and give it to social programs; it might alleviate all these anger and pressure that has been building up over generations.

It's not that long ago when stop-and-frisk was the rule of the day here in New York City. And when it showed a disproportionate of young black men were being stopped, Michael Bloomberg had to apologize for that policy when he ran for president, and so this is another shift.

But standing in the way of that progress is the police union here and then other cities, hugely powerful. They are to protect their own, the thin blue line that they see.

And what's interesting, a University of Chicago study a few years back found that when the department unionizes, citizen complaints go up by almost 30 percent. So, that will be a political loggerheads going forward.

But as far as the righteous anger that's fueled so many families, so many different people from all walks of life to take to the streets after two weeks, another peaceful night. And for that, everyone is thankful. I'm Bill Weir, CNN, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.


HOLMES: Jasmyne Cannick is a political strategist. She joins us now from Los Angeles. Great to see you. I mean, these protests had been remarkable and global, but I guess the challenge is not allowing that momentum to fade, not allowing, you know, George Floyd to be another name on a list until the next incident. How do you do that? What is the end game?

JASMYNE CANNICK, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Right. So the end game is that in America, we have only got any real change around human and civil rights through two methods, either a court ruling or legislation.


And so I think the challenge is going to be for all the people who are concerned about police brutality and police killings, is how do you change the law, right?

How do you get an independent prosecutor so Bonnie isn't investigating Clyde, which means the D.A.s office that depends on the police and the sheriff aren't investigating these situations.

In California, the only way we can get an independent prosecutor is to go through state law. And so, it will be interesting to see if these groups can work on getting independent prosecutors as well as getting rid of qualified immunity, which is the law that - well, not really a law, but it's a thing that judges go by that basically police officers can't be sued in civil court.

HOLMES: Right. You know, one thing that is interesting and I didn't know this until the other day, is there are nearly 18,000 police agencies in the country, which kind of makes uniform reform difficult.

You know, I think that, you know, as you, said Bonnie cannot be charged with investigating Clyde. You would like to see an independent prosecutor's office. What would that look like?

CANNICK: Well, we need an independent prosecutor's office in every single state and what that looks like is that you have an independent prosecutor that's appointed, but not one that's appointed by any elected official who takes police union money or anyone who is influenced by police unions.

Because that is really who the people who want to see changed around law enforcement and criminal justice reform are fighting. They are fighting the police unions who have a stranglehold on elected officials from coast to coast with their money at all levels of government.

Ans so when you talk about having an independent prosecutor, you have to make sure that that person is not being influenced by the police union or being influenced by anyone who is influenced by the police union. And that can be accomplished in each and every state in this country, and that is exactly what we need.

HOLMES: The officer now charged with George Floyd's death, the former officer Chauvin, I mean, he had 17 prior complaints against him, received I think two official reprimands, one verbal.

I mean, do you find your self wondering why he was even on the force and, you know, how often does that scenario play out or an officer just leaves and goes to a different force, which is pretty easy to do?

CANNICK: That is common, that is not surprising. That happens a lot particularly here in Los Angeles with the LAPD and the sheriff's department. And the reason why they are allowed to have that many instances of misconduct and complaints and keep their jobs is because of the police union.

So, we're going back to the police union. The police union advocates for their members. Out of all of the labor unions in America, they are the only union that has the optics of fighting to keep their members out of prison and jail.

And their money successfully does that for them. And so again, looking at the endgame, you know, we have to strategize on how we get around police unions.

And sometimes that means carrying a ballot measure, sometimes that means working with lawmakers who aren't getting police union money and getting laws passed to create these independent prosecutors off to each state, and I'm also very interested in what Cory Booker is doing in D.C. around getting rid of qualified immunity.

HOLMES: Getting laws passed, as you know, that means public pressure, and you know, you seem to have that momentum at the moment. It was interesting, there was a 2014 poll taken after the death of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and it said that 43 percent of people said that the killings were the sign of a broader problem, 43 percent -- today, 74 percent. A lot of people feel this time is different, do you agree?

CANNICK: You know, I've seen this happen before. Everyone, you know, gets upset and they're in the streets, but I never really see that translate into legislation. I haven't seen that translate into sustainable change that affects generations to come.

We do this wash, rinse and repeat cycle thing, right. So, next week there'll be a new video, a new dead black body, new outrage and new anger. As a strategist, I'm always trying to figure out how do we make the type of change that future generations do not have to put up with this anymore, do not have to deal with it? And I think that's going to be the challenge not just Black Lives Matter and supporters, their allies, everyone.

Its how do we move forward because, you know, complaining has never been a strategy? It's never been one. We have to move forward with legislation.

HOLMES: Yes. Well, hopefully, the momentum keeps up, as you say, and that George Floyd doesn't become just another one on the list.


HOLMES: Jasmyne Cannick in Los Angeles, really appreciate your time. Thanks so much.

CANNICK: Thanks for having me. [02:10:01]

HOLMES: This week, the president may finally make some attempt uniting the country with an address to the nation. CNN's Kristen Holmes with the details on that.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The big question, what is the messaging going to be moving forward? Now, we first got wind of the speech early on Sunday, when Secretary Ben Carson was interviewed by Jake Tapper, and was really pressed on President Trump's response to the killing of George Floyd, in particular, to the president's re- tweeting of a post that attacked Floyd's character. Listen to what Carson had to say.


BEN CARSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: I believe you're going to be hearing from the president this week on this topic and some detail. And I would ask you, maybe to reserve judgment until after that time.

What will help the nation heal is if we will engage in dialog together. Let's not make the solution be a Democrat solution or Republican solution. Let's make it be an American solution.


K. HOLMES: Now, since then, a senior administration official has confirmed that the speech is being battered around to both my colleague, Sarah Westwood, and I.

But the big caveat here is that is the same one that we talk about all time with this administration, which is it ultimately comes down to President Trump, and the message he wants to send.

And it's unclear, still, if that message is one of unity. If he wants to talk about the tensions that we saw over the weekend, you know, a source that is close to the president, close to the White House, told me that the president actually came out of this weekend feeling bullish.

He was really lifted up by the job numbers that we saw on Friday, and he was also very happy with how peaceful the protest where. He believes, according to this source, that that is a direct correlation to his message of law on order.

Because he was dominating the streets with all of those law enforcement officers, so that's why this protest for peaceful, so you're going to hear him talking about that, as well as this message we heard from protesters on defunding the police.

As we saw all day on Sunday, President Trump continued to try to link that to Joe Biden. And many officials close to the president believe that this is a good idea. They believe this will help them get moderate voters who might now want to go that far. Reporting from the White House, Kristen Holmes, CNN. M. HOLMES: The former U.S. Secretary of State and retired general,

Colin Powell, had some harsh words for President Trump on Sunday, criticizing Mr. Trump's handling of the protest, saying he had "drifted away from the constitution." Powell also called the president dishonest and accused him of damaging U.S. standing around the world.


COLIN POWELL, FORMER U.S. JINTS CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: Look at what he has done to divide us. Forget immigrants, let's put up a fence in Mexico, forget this, let's do this. He is insulting us throughout the world. He's being offensive to our allies. He is not taking into account what our foreign policy is and how it is being affected by his actions.

And the one word I have to use with respect to what he's been doing for the last several years, is a word I would never have used before, I never would have used with any of the four presidents I've worked for, he lies. He lies about things. And he gets away with it because people will not hold him accountable.


HOLMES: Powell told CNN he plans to vote for Democrat Joe Biden in November. Biden is set to meet privately with George Floyd's family, on Monday.

In Minneapolis, nine members of the city council have committed to start defunding and dismantling the police department. At a rally, their council president said there's no intent to not have a police department, at least in the short term. And moving forward, they want input from all communities on what policing in the city should look like.


LISA BENDER, PRESIDENT, MINNEAPOLIS CITY COUNCIL: We're hearing loud and clear, from thousands of voices in our streets, here in the park today, phone calls, e-mails, that right now our police department is not making our community feel safe.

And so, our commitment is that every single member in our community have that safety and security that they need, you know, have that housing, that health care, that education, all of it together that helps keep our community safe and to really works with our community over the next year to imagine and what that looks like, to build that system, including everyone.


HOLMES: Airlines threatening legal action against the U.K. as a government imposes new coronavirus restrictions on travelers. We'll be live in London with all the details on that.

Also, officials warned the Olympics in Tokyo might be drastically slimmed down for 2021. We sit down with the governor of Tokyo, that's after the break. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


HOLMES: Landmarks across New York, including One World Trade Center were lit blue and gold on Sunday night in honor of flattening the COVID-19 curve. New York celebrating a downturn in tests, hospitalizations, and deaths connected to the pandemic.

New York City is now entering phase one of a reopening plan because of that success, as the governor said, bending the COVID-19 curve. But around the world, the number of confirmed cases has now passed 7 million, with nearly 403,000 deaths.

Many of those infections have been coming from Latin American countries of late, most notably Brazil, Mexico, Peru, and Chile. On Sunday, all four of them, reporting a record number of new deaths and cases.

But in Europe the situation continues to improve, the U.K. reporting just 77 new deaths and imposing travel restrictions to keep the infection rate down.

Starting today, visitors will have to self-isolate for at least 14 days upon arriving. Anna Stewart joins me now from London. Yes, it's been controversial. A lot of people have sort of been saying why did you wait? How is it going to work? How is it going to be enforced?

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: So, it's only just been enforced in the U.K. long after many European countries introduced quarantine. We've had a few flights around already this morning. Those people arriving into the U.K. today have to fill in an online form 48 hours before travel, listing their contact details and the address where they expect to self-isolate for the next two weeks.


In terms of enforcement, it's not expected to be heavily enforced at this stage, but it is day one. Our policemen will be able to go to people's addresses and do spot checks to check that they are there. If they are found to float (ph) the rules, they could face a fine of 1,000, that's around $1,300.

However, Michael, there are lots of sort of loopholes as to where someone might not be at their address. They are allowed, for instance, to go out to get food, they're allowed to go and get medicine from the shops. And really, there's not much power here for the police.

They can't enter and address still in terms with enforcement (ph) with quarantine. So, lots of loopholes there. So we're not quite sure how heavily it will be enforced, but two weeks at home for those arriving today.

HOLMES: Again, tell us a bit more about the criticism of this. It's being fairly broad, I mean, you have airlines and others. Fill us in on that. STEWART: Yes. I mean so much criticism from all sides really.

Firstly, those airlines you mentioned, a huge fallout for the tourism industry here is being focused on the lost in the big three airlines in the U.K., British Airways, Ryanair have all threatened legal action against the government.

There are those that say these measures come too late. This would have been effective right at the beginning when the U.K. have much far fewer cases, for instance, that much of Europe and now has some of the worst numbers on the continent.

Some say it's too broad or blunt a measure at this stage, and they should really test individuals and isolate them rather than isolating absolutely everybody that travels in.

And then as a really interesting argument for those who actually want to see quarantine, want people to self-isolate, but all these loopholes they say, make it pretty ineffective.

The fact that people can go to the shelves to buy food and medicine, the fact that those isolating can actually travel on public transit from Heathrow Airport to the addresses they're going to spend the next 14 days.

Also, Michael, people that live in the same addresses as those have just come back to the U.K., they can still go about their business. They are expected to isolate or quite of distance from each other in the house, but they can still go out and about, so, lots of problems really foreseen with this 14-day quarantine here in the U.K., Michael.

HOLMES: It seems to have a lot of holes in it. Good to see you Anna, thanks. Anna Stewart there at Heathrow. Now, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have already been postponed as you would know until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And now, Tokyo officials warn a possible second wave could cause a drastically slimmed down schedule. Our Will Ripley sat down with the governor of Tokyo to see how the games could be further impacted.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, thank you so much for joining us on CNN.


RIPLEY: You have said that it might be necessary to host a simplified Olympics next year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and I see you had your mask there. You're practicing all of the social distancing and protective measures, but aside from wearing masks, what could a simplified Olympics actually look like?

KOIKE (through translation): The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are an important event everyone has been waiting for. The postponement costs a lot, and more than anything, we do not know what the coronavirus situation will be like in July next year. We have a few uncertainties here. It cost a lot to begin with. We need understanding from the people of

Tokyo for it. We must not spend too much. We have to make the game safe for athletes and spectators.

We have to identify the specifics of the virus, develop the curing medicine, improve testing facilities, but we cannot afford to let the battle against the coronavirus last for 10 or 20 years.

RIPLEY: I would like to ask you to address the speculation that was out there in previous months that Japan deliberately downplayed the virus situation in the early stages of the pandemic because the government wanted to host the Olympics on schedule. How do you respond to those critics?

KOIKE (through translation): The Tokyo metropolitan government has been accurately updating the number of deaths and infections. I understand that updating with the accurate numbers and observing the infection trends on a daily basis is necessary to curb the second wave to come.

RIPLEY: So the Olympics did not shape japans' pandemic response in any way? Is that what you're saying?

KOIKE (through translation): The Tokyo Olympics are the goal and timing to win over the coronavirus. But the coronavirus counter measures need to be built in a hurry to protect the lives and health of the Japanese people regardless of whether we have the Olympic games.

RIPLEY: As you know governor, Tokyo is a mega city, densely populated, and yet you continue testing a very small number when it compared to other large cities. Health experts have speculated that there are likely many more cases in Tokyo and in Japan than the official numbers reflect because of the limited testing. And yet, your death count remains extraordinarily low. How is that possible?

KOIKE (through translation): That is all thanks to the cooperation by the people of Tokyo. In the past, masks were only worn by the Japanese and bank robbers.


Wearing masks has become the ordinary custom for the Japanese since the pandemic of Spanish flu in 1918. And we have been advocating through this time to avoid these three C's, closed spaces, crowded places, close conversation.

This curved quite the number of infections. The sense of hygiene of the Japanese people was superb and that helped to suppress the number of deaths compared to the western countries.

RIPLEY: We wish you well as you navigate through what are undoubtedly going to be challenging times ahead. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, thank you so much for joining us.

(END VIDEOTAPE) HOLMES: Well, New Zealand is reporting zero active coronavirus cases for the first time since late February. The country has not reported any new cases for 17 days with early action and strict measures, it is being attributed to the success.

The news comes as the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, moves the country to level one rules. This means the easing of all domestic restrictions including those on businesses, schools, and services, though, social distancing will still be encouraged.

The killing of George Floyd is sparking global anger. How protests around the world are demanding racial justice and an end to police brutality. We will have more on that when we come back.



MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Michael Holmes. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

Calls for racial justice have been taking place around the world this weekend. Clashes broke out in Belgium on Sunday. Police using tear gas and water cannon to disperse about 100 protesters. In Italy's financial capital Milan, protesters gathering to show support for Black Lives Matter and to protest the killing of George Floyd.

And thousands protesting outside the U.S. Embassy in Madrid to show solidarity with calls for racial justice. Journalist Al Goodman joins me now from Madrid. Fill us in on what happened there. Who was there?

AL GOODMAN, JOURNALIST: Hi, Michael. These protesters in Madrid, several thousands were basically out there in solidarity with the American protesters demanding justice in the killing of George Floyd. So, there were photos of George Floyd, there were signs saying Black Lives Matter, there were chants of no justice, no peace, and there were signs criticizing President Donald Trump.

Now the U.S. Embassy, which is normally heavily fortified, was even more so on Sunday. We were out there with lots of police in riot gear. We caught up with one of the organizers of this protest, a college student in Madrid, and here's what she had to say about why her group was formed just a week ago, organized this protest. Let's listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The main point that we are setting for here is demonstrating because we want to show our support to the Black Lives Matter community in the United States, but also we want to denounce and to demonstrate again, structural racism and institutional racism here in Spain because it's an issue here.


GOODMAN: Michael, you asked who was at the demonstration. Well, a lot of Spaniards, but also a lot of African immigrants here in Spain. Africa being just across the Mediterranean Sea, the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain, they represent African immigrants in Spain, represent a very tiny percent of the population.

But they say and this was clear at the protests on Sunday, that they have also been victims of racism here in Spain. And so, in addition to calling out the name of George Floyd, the names of several people who were -- had dubious deaths, contested deaths involving police are also called up. So all of this in a protest in COVID, very hard to maintain the social distancing as you can see. Michael?

HOLMES: Yes, yes, a problem around the world. Al, thank you. Al Goodman in Madrid there for us. Now, the UK's health secretary warning of further Coronavirus spread due to the Black Lives Matter protests. Over the weekend, anti-racism protests gripped the United Kingdom. In London, 12 protesters were arrested on Sunday.

However, the London Metropolitan Police say the majority of protest is demonstrated without any issues at all. Meanwhile, in southwest England protests is tore down a statue of a 17th-century slave trader. This is in Bristol, the statue first erected in 1895 pulled down with a rope, and as you can see here, thrown into the river.

Nina dos Santos is standing by for us in London. Let's start with these protests. Again, as the day came to an end, more violence and arrests.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN EUROPE EDITOR: Yes, sadly, this is a picture that we've seen over the last few days as things become more and more heated across the British Capitol. Thousands of people taking to the streets starting off in these marches that have taken place over the weekend from the south side of the River Thames, where the U.S. Embassy is now based, all the way up towards parliament in Westminster.

And each time it's when they get closer and closer towards the real seat of power in this country, Downing Street, the official residence of the British Prime Minister which by the way, is only just a stone's throw away from the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police, that we've seen these ugly scenes at the end of the day when things are turned violent. Objects have been thrown at police officers and also the horses that they're riding.

And as a result, as you mentioned in your introduction, Michael, there were about a dozen arrests yesterday, a combination of this otherwise peaceful protests movement that has been happening over the last few days. It doesn't show any signs of abating here and also stretches across all four corners of the United Kingdom, as you mentioned.

In Bristol, we saw some of the most dramatic scenes in the southwest of England to see a statue of that 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston, a rather well-known prominent figure, but also somebody who's been a source of controversy in that city in the southwest of England for many, many years, that statue was dragged off its podium and eventually dragged into the river and thrown into the river. To the ire of government officials, Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, came out and said that was wholly unacceptable behavior. And that of course, the other thing that people need to remember, as I was pointing out, is that this isn't necessarily a safe time to be protesting.


However, many who have taken to the streets say, well, look, you know, we also have to deal with the scourge of racism. That is just as detrimental to our lives here in this country, as of course, the threat of COVID-19 and the pandemic.

But this is a really difficult time for authorities because this country is set to more or less reopen its economy in just a few days from now. And with that reproduction rate of the virus getting perilously close to the level of one where authorities get quite uncomfortable with that the rate at which one person can spread it to more people, what they really want to do is try and keep this virus suppressed, keep people maintaining social distancing as much as possible so they can kick start the economy before things get even worse. Michael?

HOLMES: Well, Nina, thank you. I appreciate that. Nina dos Santos in London for us. And joining me now from London is Kojo Koram. He's a lecturer in law at Birkbeck University. And thanks so much for being with us, sir.


HOLMES: I got to -- I got to ask you. It's been -- it's been remarkable to see the global protests as a result of the death of George Floyd, protesting against his death, but often against similar cases in their own countries. What does that tell you?

KORAM: Well, I think that shows us that this death has really resonated around the world. I think, you know, not only the kind of visceral horror of the -- of George Floyd's death at the hands of the police officer in Minneapolis, but the way in which that that depth was being not adequately investigated and presented by the Minneapolis police force.

I mean, we were told, I think we forget now with all the protests that the Minneapolis police force had told us that George Floyd had died because he was resisting arrest before the video was released. And I think that that combination of not only disrespects for the actual value of human life, particularly black life, and the kind of architecture of institutional covering off of that kind of offense is something that a lot of people have connected to in a lot of different areas around the world.

HOLMES: There's been a lot of talk about this defund the police movement here in the U.S. We have a segment on it yesterday. It's basically talking about not sort of shutting down police forces, but let's redirect a lot of their funds into social services and things that will benefit society that will mean there will be less requirement for police. I mean, is that something do you think that has legs there where you are, for example, or internationally?

KORAM: Well, whilst I wouldn't be an expert in terms of actual that kind of scale of police transformation, I think that we have to recognize that institutions do emerge and institutions do decline. You know, one point and a lot of Western countries, the priesthood and the church will have had much larger social roles.

And right now, I think that we can think about what kind of work do police do that could be undertaken by social workers, by those who have, you know, a much greater proximity to the community. And I think that, you know, this is a time for real, real serious conversations.

HOLMES: Yes, that is the sort of thrust of it, exactly. And you know, I was going to ask you to -- you know, when you look at the U.K. where you are, I mean, I think it was 2017 the Lammy Review that showed that, you know, black people comprise three percent of the population. They make up about 12 percent of the prison population. In the U.S., it's even a greater disparity, I think, more than 30 percent on average. What do you think of the root causes of that and how to, you know, alleviate that, mitigate that?

KORAM: I think that root causes of that, a lot of the legislation and a lot of the law have passed it to so-called guarantee racial equality haven't made the kind of substantive transformations that we like to believe that they have. I think that a lot of people, a lot of the younger generation that's currently leading these kind of Black Lives Matter protests all around the world have grown up being told that they were equal, that you know, the racism or something of the past.

And as they are emerging into adulthood, they're seeing that whether it's in criminal justice, like you mentioned, whether it's in education, whether it's in housing, whether it's in employment, the statistics speak for themselves, and they're seeing that equality is not something that's playing out and they're very angry about it.

HOLMES: Yes, yes, well put. I don't know. I'm just wondering if that -- you know, as you look broadly across the globe at what is happening, do you -- do you feel this is a moment in the whole police brutality, racism, movement, that is somehow different to previous cases and, and protests? I mean, it's difficult to be confident given how other you know, seemingly potentially seminal moments have come and gone.


KORAM: I do that that this does seem to be something that's a little bit different in terms of modeling the scale of the protests, but also the intensity of the feeling around the death of George Floyd, and we can't forget, of course, Breonna Taylor, and many others as well. I think that it's really interesting for us in this moment, because we've all grown up, you know, learning about the civil rights or the anti-apartheid struggle or, you know, watching movies like Selma or Invictus. And, you know, imagining that all well, if we had that opportunity, I would have been on this protest, I would have been speaking out. Well, that opportunity is here. That moment is now. And I think a lot

of people are thinking about what can I do. And a lot of people are really getting on the streets and trying to make their voices heard and I will encourage people to do that as well.

HOLMES: Yes, exactly. Safely with Coronavirus. But the thing that's interesting about Coronavirus and a lot of real health experts are worried that it could be I seeding or spreading event all these protesters out there, but you know, the sort of irony is that a lot of the people who are protesting who are, you know, black and brown are the ones that are disproportionately affected by Coronavirus as well. So, that even has a racial side to it.

KORAM: Absolutely. I mean that's the real connection. You know, it's not -- it's not what I consider ironic but it's something that I consider structural and systemic, you know? Absolutely the concerns around Coronavirus is something that has to be taken seriously. People who do decide to go to those demonstrations need to ensure that they have the proper safety gear. Organizers need to try and maintain social distance as much as that as possible.

But as much as Coronavirus is a public health crisis, so is racism, and they intersect in the way that black of minority people in places like the U.K. and the United States are the people who are often on the front lines who are disproportionately being affected and dying from Coronavirus. And so those two issues cannot be separated.

And I think trying to say that we shouldn't protest in order to ensure that we can respect some of the policies around Coronavirus I think is misreading the situation.

HOLMES: Well put. Kojo Koram in London, thanks so much. I really appreciate it.

KORAM: Thank you for having me, Michael.

HOLMES: Well, Palestinian Lives Matter, a familiar slogan that's been tweaked in Tel Aviv. Protesters say police brutality is a problem in the world too, but not the only one. Their demands coming up.



HOLMES: Welcome back. Rescue efforts are underway in Pakistan after a multi-storey residential building collapsed on Sunday night in Karachi. The city's mayor says at least one person was killed; five others injured. Officials say the building was already declared dangerous before the collapse and was tilted to one side. An evacuation process had been underway before the structure fell.

Tropical Storm Cristobal has made landfall in Louisiana or in the U.S., drenching the Gulf Coast with heavy rain, wind gusts up to 60 miles an hour. CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam is in New Orleans with the latest.


DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: So far, this has been a manageable tropical storm for the city of New Orleans, a city that is so susceptible to flooding. Of course, this one has been different because it is against the backdrop of several national emergencies taking place across the country, namely the COVID-19 pandemic. We'll call this a trial run for what meteorologists believe and are predicting to be an above average and extremely active Atlantic hurricane season.

There are still threats going forward for the Greater New Orleans metropolitan area and across southeastern Louisiana and the coastal areas of Mississippi, Alabama, and into the panhandle of Florida, namely storm surge threat potential overnight, and the potential for flash flooding as well.

In the city of New Orleans, the sewage and drainage system here is well over 100 years old and can quickly be taken over by extremely heavy rain. I'm CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam from New Orleans.


HOLMES: Now opponents of Israel's West Bank annexation plans are seizing the opportunity of the global protests. Palestinian Lives Matter, the rallying cry of thousands of protesters linking this scene in Tel Aviv to that of Black Lives Matter in the U.S.

Speakers, including U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders oppose the Israeli government's annexation plans. And like their American counterparts, these protesters are angry to at police brutality, especially the recent killing of an unarmed autistic Palestinian.

Oren Lieberman joins me now from Jerusalem to talk about all of this. Let's start with the opposition to the annexation growing both there and internationally.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Certainly, and that was a big part of this. And you heard it from U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders who spoke via video message saying that there must be opposition to Israel's illegal plans to annex parts of the West Bank. And that was echoed by Israeli and Palestinian lawmakers who said annexation would lead to violence and apartheid.

And we saw that in what police estimate was 2,000 protesters there. We certainly expect to see more protesters coming out. And this group of protesters primarily left-wing it seems have an almost quasi ally in the ideological right-wing opposed annexation. Why? Because that annexation, they say, a partial annexation of the West Bank leaves open the possibility of a Palestinian state. And for that reason, they're opposed to the annexation as laid out under the Trump administration's plan for peace. So an interesting group of sort of friends here or allies working together against annexation.

Of course, internationally, we have seen opposition grows certainly from the Palestinians who have warned that something like this, a move like even partial annexation of the West Bank could -- would be the cancellation of the Oslo Accords.

Jordan's foreign minister has come out strongly against annexation as has the Arab League and the European Union. In fact, France's Foreign Minister warned there would be consequences to annexation. And that could come in the form of either some sort of sanctions or European countries recognizing a state of Palestine.

They haven't been too specific about that largely because Israel hasn't been too specific about its own plans when it comes to annexation or Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his plans, I should say.

HOLMES: Yes. Well, that leads into a good follow up. What do we know about his intentions? You know, what are the options in front of him?

LIEBERMANN: Well, Netanyahu has been incredibly quiet about this one. He met with settler leaders who are in favor of the plan. He's been fighting those settler leaders, those more ideological settler leaders who are opposed to the plan. But as for a map, it seems only he and very few others have actually seen a map with Israeli media reporting that even the chief of staff of the army, the foreign minister, or the defense minister, haven't seen a map.

And that's troubling from the perspective of it's the defense minister in the army who on the ground have to prepare for the defense of whatever map is annexed, and it's the foreign minister who has to try to explain this to the international community.

What are Netanyahu's options when those options do become available? Well, there's a spectrum here. It could either be just a declaration or a statement without real moves towards a degree annexation, or it could be annexing everything under the Trump administration's plan for Middle East peace, or he could go beyond that. So there's a range of options here and the response will depend on what Netanyahu chooses.


HOLMES: Yes, it's something he wants some clarity on, isn't it? Oren Liebermann, thank you. I appreciate that. Good to see you there in Jerusalem. All right, we'll be right back after the break.


HOLMES: Welcome back. Demonstrators in Raleigh, North Carolina is sending a clear message, end racism now. Volunteers painting those words in giant letters on a downtown street, taking inspiration from the Black Lives Matter mural in Washington on the road that leads to the White House.

While it may feel like a desperately difficult time to graduate, a gathering of leaders and celebrities for a virtual commencement has offered a message of hope. South Korean megastars BTS, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, all among performers and speakers for YouTube's dear class of 2020 event. Former U.S. President Barack Obama also making an appearance. Here's what he had to say to graduates.



BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You don't have to accept the world as it is. You can make it into the world as it should be, and could be. You can create a new normal, one that is fairer and gives everybody opportunity and treats everyone equally, and builds bridges between people instead of dividing them.


HOLMES: The virtual event also featured a rendition of the famous poem Still I Rise by Maya Angelou, recorded by black female artists and entertainers. Have a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Out of the huts of history's shame, I rise up from a past that is rooted in pain.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I rise. I'm a black ocean leaping and wide. Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Leaving behind nights of terror and fear. I rise into a daybreak that's wondrously clear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I rise. Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am the hope and the dream of the slave.





HOLMES: Thanks for spending part of your day with us and watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for your company. Natalie Allen picks it up from here. She's wearing lilac.