News World ‘Iconic’ images of protester in USA go viral
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‘Iconic’ images of protester in USA go viral

A peaceful protestor makes a powerful stand against police in Baton Rouge.
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A photo of a Black Lives Matter demonstrator has gone viral after she refused to move for police during a peaceful protest in Minnesota.

Protests against the killing of two black men by white police have also been held in the city of Baton Rouge, where Alton Sterling was killed last Tuesday.

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On Saturday, several hundred protesters blocked the motorway in front of the the Baton Rouge police headquarters, prompting police to don riot gear.

But one woman, wearing a sundress, refused to step aside – drawing comparisons with the 1989 Tiananmen Square “Tank Man”..

She stood firm in the face of police dressed in riot gear, and the image has since become a powerful symbol of the BLM movement.

One Twitter user claimed to have spoken to one of the woman’s friends, who told him she was still in jail on Monday (AEST).

Protests continue

It was the third day of widespread protests after the fatal shooting of Mr Sterling, 37, and the death of Philando Castile, 32, on Wednesday night in a St Paul, Minnesota suburb – cities which both saw heated protests on Saturday.

About 130 people have reportedly been taken to jail since protests begun.

protester black lives matter dress
Baton Rouge police don riot gear to move in on protesters for a second night in a row on July 9. Photo: Getty

Protests have also been held in Europe, while a Melbourne event slated for Sunday has 6500 attendants on Facebook.

Leader of the BLM movement, DeRay McKesson, was one of several arrested for live streaming the protest at Baton Rouge.

On Friday, a protest in Dallas turned deadly when a sniper opened fire on white police who were watching the end of a peaceful BLM rally.

Five officers were killed and seven others injured in a horror day for the city.

The perpetrator, black military veteran Micah Johnson, was eventually killed by police after reportedly telling them he wanted to kill more white officers.

The incident has only sparked further division, with conservative commentator and former congressman Joe Walsh declaring “war” on BLM activists.

protester black lives matter dress
Dallas police chief David Brown’s son was killed in a shootout with police. Photo: ABC

Mr Obama tried to quell talk of an all-out race war in the US, saying his country was not as fractured as it had been in the 1960s.

“As painful as this week has been, I fully believe that America is not as divided as people have suggested,” Mr Obama said.

Black Dallas police chief personifies struggle

Dallas police chief David Brown, who is black, has come to personify the nation’s trauma.

“We are heartbroken,” Mr Brown told reporters after the events of Thursday evening Texas time.

“This must stop. This divisiveness between our police and our citizens.”

Shortly after he took the helm of the Dallas police force in 2010, his 27-year-old son, David Brown Jr, fatally shot an officer and another man while high on drugs, before being killed by police.

Mr Brown, a Dallas native – who was spurred to join the force to confront a crack cocaine epidemic in his own inner-city neighbourhood – also lost both his brother and a former police partner to gun violence.

Mr Brown has tried to steer police away from using force and has gained recognition for reducing the number of officer-involved shootings to its lowest in 30 years.

-with ABC, James Ried and Rose Donohoe

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