Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to support our work—that time is now.

Our mission is simple: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

But without the support of our readers, this model does not work and we simply won’t survive. It’s that simple.
We must meet our Mid-Year Campaign goal but we need you now.

Please, support independent journalism today.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

The real looters.

The real looters. (Photo collage: Drew Angerer/Getty Images, Julian Mackler/BFA/Rex/Shutterstock, Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images.)

Progressives Say 'People Know Who Real Looters Are': Not Those Angry Over Police Killings, But Oligarchs Robbing Nation Blind

"Americans know who the real looters are. It's the billionaires who plundered America for $434 billion during the pandemic while the essential workers keeping our country  afloat make barely over minimum wage."

Eoin Higgins

As protests in Minneapolis and other U.S. cities over the police killing of George Floyd turned violent overnight, resulting in damage to some storefronts and buildings, complaints about "looting" sparked backlash from progressives who pointed to the billions in wealth accumulated by corporations and the super-rich in the past three months alone as the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

"Americans know who the real looters are," progressive radio host Benjamin Dixon told Common Dreams. "It's the billionaires who plundered America for $434 billion during the pandemic while the essential workers keeping our country  afloat make barely over minimum wage."

So-called riots exploded on the streets of Minneapolis on Wednesday during the second consecutive day of protests against the city's police department for killing Floyd, who died after Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for at least ten minutes despite Floyd's pleas that he couldn't breathe. Protests against the killing in Los Angeles and Memphis also resulted in violence; in Los Angeles the violence was precipitated by police officers driving their cars into demonstrators. 

As It's Going Down News and Unicorn Riot reported, demonstrators "are fed up with this racist system" and see the movement as part of a broader, "organic uprising."

"This is just the start," tweeted It's Going Down News.

Mainstream media and right-wing commentators decried what they described as "looting" as some people poured into Target, AutoZone, and other stores, taking some items and leaving the buildings damaged. 

Progressives pointed to the disconnect between condemnation of those acts and the lack of critical reaction to the country's richest people and corporations gaining billions in wealth since the beginning of the coronavirus. According to a recent Institute of Policy Studies report, U.S. billionaires have added $434 billion in wealth since the onset of the outbreak.

"Absolutely terrible to hear about all the looting happening right now," journalist Kate Aronoff tweeted Wednesday night, linking to a report of the billionaires' increase in wealth. "Someone should intervene."

Progressive activist Peter Daou chimed in, sarcastically invoking calls for no more looting to make a broader point about who is benefitting from the pandemic and putting Wednesday's events in context.

"I heard there was looting and I'm furious," said Daou. "Republicans and Democrats stealing from the poor to bail out the rich in a #pandemic. That kind of theft is unacceptable."

Other progressives on social media also made the distinction between demonstrators angry at decades of police brutality and the billionaire class adding obscene levels of wealth in the pandemic.

Dixon told Common Dreams that the people are wise to the real looting in America and that the movement is only just beginning.

"The ruling elite have used our own civility to control us while robbing America blind," said Dixon. "But we're hip to their game."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·


80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·


Progressives Rebuke Dem Leadership as Clyburn Dismisses Death of Roe as 'Anticlimactic'

"The gap between the Democratic leadership, and younger progressives on the question of 'How Bad Is It?' is just enormous."

Julia Conley ·


In 10 Key US Senate Races, Here's How Top Candidates Responded to Roe Ruling

While Republicans unanimously welcomed the Supreme Court's rollback of half a century of reproductive rights, one Democrat said "it's just wrong that my granddaughter will have fewer freedoms than my grandmother did."

Brett Wilkins ·


Sanders Says End Filibuster to Combat 'Outrageous' Supreme Court Assault on Abortion Rights

"If Republicans can end the filibuster to install right-wing judges to overturn Roe v. Wade, Democrats can and must end the filibuster, codify Roe v. Wade, and make abortion legal and safe," said the Vermont senator.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo