A masked protester appearing at a demonstration in Los Angeles, California and interviewed by a reporter for Univision 34 is advocating the cryptocurrency Bitcoin as a form of protest.
Los Angeles is now entering its ninth day of demonstrations, both peaceful and violent, following the fatal arrest of George Floyd.
With shops and businesses smashed, ransacked and boarded up, from downtown to Hollywood to Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, advocates for change are reminding people about the limitations of physical aggression.
Since city-wide curfews have helped quell some of the pandemonium, cameras are shifting to participants trying to spread the word about other ways to address monetary policies that have led to a cycle of control, wealth inequality and chronic debt through high interest rates, low wages and a lack of access to financial services and investment opportunities that are reserved for high-net-wealth individuals only.
In a message to the family of George Floyd, who died after being pinned down at the neck for over eight minutes by a police officer in Minneapolis, the unidentified protester says,
“I’m deeply sorry for your loss. Unfortunately, we live in a system that will not allow us to thrive or strive and has continually been, literally, on our necks. So my natural solution for this problem, for everyone, is to opt out and exit the economy as a whole, and the way we do that is by buying Bitcoin.”
The protests have exposed not only systemic police brutality but a wealth gap that has accelerated since the coronavirus lockdowns. The stock market continues to climb, despite unemployment figures surging by 40 million more claims over the past three months, while billionaires have watched their wealth increase by $434 billion during the same period.
Millennials in particular, drowning in debt as the outstanding federal student loan bubble rises to $1.6 trillion with 45 million borrowers across all demographics, are now facing a difficult job market. Several industries, from hospitality to dining to retail, have gotten decimated by stay-at-home orders and numerous companies have filed for bankruptcy.
Meanwhile, high school students who are trying to navigate the economy by staking their futures on higher education may have to take on an average student loan of $37,000 to complete a college degree, according to new analysis from NerdWallet.