Raimondo Committed to Making Healthcare More Affordable: Summary of the governor’s June 4 press conference

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo speaks at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Providence Pedestrian Bridge.

Governor Gina Raimondo, Dr. James McDonald from RIDOH and DoA director Brett Smiley gave the COVID-19 press briefing today at 1pm.

The data for Rhode Island is as follows: 100 new cases of COVID, and 185 people are hospitalized, 42 are in the ICU, and 29 people are on ventilators. DOH reported 14 new deaths today, with no age breakdown offered during the presser.

Governor Raimondo today made several announcements regarding healthcare in Rhode Island. Federal aid of up to $150 million would be made available to hospitals across the state. That comes after hospital systems in the Ocean State face revenue drop-offs from shutting down due to COVID. Healthcare frontline workers will continue to receive a pay boost from the CARES Act funds. Director Smiley today reported the effort had cost more than $8 million dollars, and they had budgeted a few million more for the new two-week extension.

The governor today also reported her administration would make an effort to re-tilt healthcare in Rhode Island. She is committed to health equity zones and making healthcare more affordable. Her telehealth executive order has been extended. This comes after COVID hitting Rhode Island’s vulnerable communities the hardest. Child immunizations are estimated to be down 35% to 50%, people have put offer PCP visits or treatment. “It’s time we start addressing that,” said the governor.

The governor and Dr. McDonald announced there were going to be metrics for nursing homes to start visitations, however, neither elaborated on what they would be. Dr. McDonald said to hold on for a few more weeks as congregate care settings figure out what to do with state and federal guidance. 

Starting next week, the governor is expected to make a series of announcements regarding schools. She says she thinks school will return in some form this fall. Distance learning has overall been a success, said Raimondo. RIDE is making an extensive focused assessment, which should be completed after the school year closes. Raimondo said she’s pleasantly surprised with the results, but that it gets more difficult the longer it goes on. She also half-joked that with distance learning, snow days might be a thing of the past.

Providence still has a #BlackLivesMatter rally for George Floyd tomorrow. Governor Raimondo said she supports the effort and reminded people to exercise caution and observe social distancing and face masks regulations. Some form of security will be present at tomorrow’s rally, the governor is getting briefed on that this afternoon. The National Guard isn’t going away anytime soon. Governor Raimondo said it would be active for security measures at least through the weekend, until she feels Rhode Islanders are safe. Rhode Islanders will have to get used to helicopters and Humvees at least until next week. Meanwhile other parts of the guard National Guard will continue to be deployed in COVID work ,such as contact tracing and quarantining. New federal measures allow states to be reimbursed for using their Guard units through August 21st, so we can expect them to be activated at least until then.

Tomorrow’s press conference is at 1pm, with the one following that scheduled for Monday. Starting next week press conferences will drop down to three days a week on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule. You can watch them on local news, Facebook Live, or Capitol TV. Motif will have its summary up following the press conference a few hours later.




Be of Service: Five do’s and don’t’s for white people taking anti-racist action

I am a white woman who has been blogging about race for eight years. It all started out of my pressing need to explore why, ever since I was a child, I cared so much about cross-racial connection, racism and exclusion of black people in “white life.” It was long before I would ever hear the term “white bubble.” I didn’t have the language for any of this yet. 

When yet another innocent black person is killed by a white vigilante, or white police officer, I want to write about it as a way to show up, to be there in solidarity with black people. I also want my fellow white people to show up. To talk about what happened. To show their support. To take action. And, I am not perfect in this. None of us are. But what is most important is that we show up, and that we do something. 

As I witness the pain and exhaustion of black people through conversation, and on social media, I see and hear them share about what they want and don’t want from us white people. As part of learning how to care for one another and understand the harm of white supremacist culture, racist violence, and white individual words and action cause, and in an effort to undo our own racialized, colonized minds, I want to share what I am hearing, learning and putting into practice. Below are five DON’Ts and five DO’s I am keeping in mind and sharing with other white people to practice as we work to be in solidarity with black people in this country, and to be a part of a new order in which we all are free. This will only happen when we white people acknowledge our history, apologize for it and make amends — reparations, for the centuries of slavery and oppression we have instituted and continue to preside over.

DON’T

  1. Don’t go on and on about how sad and outraged YOU are about the killing of George Floyd, or other deaths of innocent black people at the hands of police officers and vigilantes. It is not our place to take up a whole lot of space centering our own pain about the death of yet another black person. Acknowledge, show up, share articles (see #2 for boundaries on this) and show that you care, but being extra about your emotional response to the death is not helpful. And what I am continuously hearing black people say, is this: Don’t ask them for anything right now. They are exhausted from our racism, and are processing and need rest, away from us white folks asking them, “But what can we do?” I failed at this by recently messaging a black woman friend about an upcoming protest, realizing I seek her out too often to ask her opinion or gather information about a local event, when I can do the work of figuring it out myself, without making her my “go-to” black person, especially at a time like this.
  2. Don’t share images and videos that show the killing of black people.  It is black pain porn that you are sharing. Some white people have said they feel it is important that white people witness the horror so that we can see the terror of what we are inflicting on black people. Witness it privately if you must. But don’t spread the violence and re-traumatize black people, or have other white people view these videos as some kind of sport, like white people who attended public lynchings and took photos of themselves at these events, and even made souvenir postcards out of them.
  3. Don’t ever question whether a black person should have, fill in the blank: run, not run, comply, be polite, have a record. Don’t make a black person responsible for their own killing. Period.
  4. Don’t tell a black person how they, or others that look like them, should respond to a killing of a black person by a white police officer or vigilante. Don’t say, “I understand being upset about the killing, but when they riot and loot, I don’t condone that. They’re only hurting themselves and destroying their own communities.” Is a building worth more than a life? Martin Luther King said, “Riots are the language of the unheard.” First of all, as we are finding out is the case with many of these so-called “riots,” the majority of people doing the destruction and looting are from outside of the states where the incidents took place, and are carried out by many white people with links to white supremacist groups. Second, this country was built by slaves and everything white people have is because of first, stealing land that did not belong to them, using violence to kill the indigenous people whose land this belonged to, enslaving people first from Africa, and afterward through centuries of Jim Crow laws — discriminatory housing laws, discriminatory voting laws, discriminatory business loans and mortgages, segregation of schools, mass incarceration and looting of other countries’ treasures that were placed in our museums. 
  5. Don’t stay silent. If the pain and suffering of black people is not on your radar, or it is, but you feel like you can’t or shouldn’t say or do anything about it, that is a problem.  If you are more afraid of being called racist for saying the wrong thing than you are about putting an end to racism, well, as they say: White Silence = Violence.

DO:

  1. Do educate yourself on the history of systemic racism in this country. Read. Get into conversations with other white people. Get into conversations with black people. Get educated and converse without placing the labor on black people to do the work for you. Be resourceful. There are a lot of books and resources out there now for us white people to read and learn about racism and avenues to engage in the work of anti-racism.
  2. Do something. We white people can be good at saying, “I feel awful about all this, but I feel helpless as to what I can do.” My cousin, a life coach, has said, “When we say, ‘I just don’t know..I’m afraid to (fill in the blank—fall in love, ask for a raise)’ when we get stuck in the ‘I don’t know,’ we can stay there, and have the comfort of not having to make a decision, stay in the comfort of not taking action.” And, so, I plead with all of us white people, to get unstuck, to not stay in the “but, I don’t know what I can do,” or “I don’t want to make a mistake if I say something to a black person about race,” We can see how damaging that is, right? There are concrete things we all can do. (See resource list at end of article)
  3. Do Listen. We white people are so used to being the center of everything, thinking we need to have something to say. Please listen to black people share about their experience, let them speak at rallies, lead and center themselves in the conversation on the racism they have experienced. And do believe them. 
  4. Do accept the invitation to learn and grow. If a black person tells you something you said, or did, or posted on social media, caused them harm, listen. Believe them. Do not get defensive, and please, fellow white women, do this learning and growing without shedding tears. 
  5. Do the most every day to break down systems of oppression and racism. Every day. I hear and witness many black people saying what is happening right now is much bigger than George Floyd. This is centuries of enduring the racism and violence perpetrated by white people on black people in this country. This means it is going to require all we have, and all of us to tear down these systems, and start anew. It requires more than showing up at a protest. It requires vigilance and ownership and the will to make changes every single day. Beyond calling out blatant racist acts when you see them, it is about what we can do in our every day worlds. It’s being in your workplace and looking around and seeing if your workplace is a white bubble where black people and people of color either don’t exist or don’t exist in an equal way to the white people there, especially if it is a white-led, non-profit organization “serving” people from marginalized communities.  And, I don’t mean having more black and brown people so you can say, “Hey, look at our diverse workforce!” Diversity does not equal equity. It means you have policies and a culture that is not surface level, but truly welcoming and inclusive. It means that positions at all levels are filled with black and brown people. It means there is equality and the de-centering of whiteness in carrying out your organization’s or business’s work. It means black and brown people are given the autonomy and support and resources to do their job and not be suspected of not producing quality work, or called aggressive, angry, or said to not fit in. It’s about doing what needs to be done to make sure our public school systems have equal resources. It’s about undoing racist laws within our judicial system. It’s about being willing to connect with and get to know black people and have conversations, and be willing to take guidance on what you can do to help without asking the kinds of questions that feel like a burden. 

There are more than five things we can do, and five things we should not do, but this is a start. We can start where we are, no matter where that starting point is. The critical thing is to do something, to begin. 

Here are links to resources to help us learn, grow and give support to black people and black-led businesses and organizations in our community and nationally.

Resources:

Rhode Island Solidarity Fund

Donate to this newly created fund to support five historically marginalized, local community-led organizations: DARE, PrYSM, AMOR, George Wiley Center, and ARISE. Your funds will support: immediate Covid-19 relief, local and state advocacy for public health policies, economic recovery, and build local networks and resilient systems to sustain these communities for the long-term. risolidarityfund.org

Black Girl In Maine

Become a patron of Shay Stewart Bouley’s blog, Black Girl in Maine. Shay is an author, speaker, racial justice educator, and Executive Director of Boston-based civil rights organization, Community Change, Inc. blackgirlinmaine.com

Google Document: Anti-Racism Resources for White People, compiled by Sarah Sophie Flickr, Alyssa Klein, May 2020 docs.google.com/document/d/1BRlF2_zhNe86SGgHa6-VlBO-QgirITwCTugSfKie5Fs/mobilebasic?fbclid=IwAR2CzV15_p02xyYyF1LXSzCyfDOtFqV28O–RdV_YCSHf1nkptb0-fX0-G4

Black Visions Collective

BVC, a Minneapolis, MN based non-profit organization. Black Visions Collective envisions a world in which ALL Black Lives Matter. We use the guidance and brilliance of our ancestors as well as the teachings of our own experiences to pursue our commitment to dismantling systems of oppression and violence. We are determined in our pursuit of dignity and equity for all. blackvisionsmn.org/about

Wendy Grossman in a Rhode Island blogger whose personal essays on race, racism and cross-racial connection can be found on wendyjanesoulshake.com




Take Action: The Womxn Project is #sustainingcommunity

Photo credit: Sara Archambault

Conversation without action won’t drive change, so The Womxn Project — a local organization always pushing for justice — is taking action and calling on community members to do the same.

Last weekend, in partnership with the RI Democratic Women’s Caucus, The Womxn Project projected a series of statements on the State House calling on white people to take action to stop racism.

We asked Jocelyn Foye, co-director of The Womxn Project, what women’s role is in the quest for racial justice. “Fundamental leadership is coming from women of color, and we want to be a support system to them,” she said. “I think that you’re seeing a lot of activists are women. [The Womxn Project] is not exclusive to a gender, but we also are recognizing that there is a power in that group.”

The organization recently put out a video series that gives tips to white people on how to listen and learn, provides ways people can push for justice, helps parents raise anti-racist kids and gives advice on ways to create change in day-to-day lives.

“This is our problem,” Foye said. “We created this problem and we need to do something about it.”

Find the video series on The Womxn Project’s YouTube channel with #sustainingcommunity: youtube.com/channel/UCrgBHwfrU_8176Q9vjQ7f4A




Rhode Island Is Facing a Huge Budget Shortfall: Summary of the governor’s June 3 press conference

Governor Gina Raimondo, DOH director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, and DOA Director Brett Smiley held the COVID-19 press briefing today at 2:30pm from The Vets in Providence. 

Today’s COVID data is as follows: there are 107 new cases. As the governor noted, the positivity rate statewide is under 5% as it has been the past few days. Some areas continue to be above 10% positive rates, hard hit communities like Pawtucket, Central Falls, North Providence and parts of Providence. There are 189 people are hospitalized in the Ocean State from COVID-19. Of those people, 144 are in the ICU, and 30 of those people are on ventilators. DOH also reported today 12 new deaths from the coronavirus since yesterday. Two people were in their 70s, two in their 80s, and six were in their 90s.

Governor Raimondo today took pains to reassure Rhode Islanders the Crush COVID RI app they launched a few weeks ago was safe to download. People should not be concerned the app will harvest your private information or phone contacts. Any information that could be used to identify you is not kept with your list of locations or people you came into contact with. The app will always be opt in and you can opt out of it at any time. Approximately 45,000 people have downloaded the app since its launch last month. 

Starting on Friday’s #BlackLivesMatter protest, DOH employees will be on site for future protests. They will be providing either verbal or flyer information that will help attendees keep cautious and safe during the time of coronavirus. “The virus is ever present,” said Raimondo. DOH will also distribute masks during protests.

“I am begging you,” said the governor of peaceful protesters, “to exercise extreme caution out of concern for the loved ones you have at home who could get very sick or worse.” She noted she cannot suspend the constitutional right to assembly, and said she would never tell someone not to protest or advocate for change. She did recommend attendees of protests to exercise extreme caution. The governor added she might attend the rally on the outskirts on Friday, and does support the effort.

Today the governor announced state employees in the executive branch would be allowed to participate in a federal workshare program. Department of Administration Brett Smiley gave a rundown on how it will work. Employees would see a 40% reduction in hours. For someone working five days a week, they’d be reduced for three days a week and collect a salary for only those three days. The other two days they could collect a type of federal check akin to UI, with the $600 federal boost to benefits being made available. Smiley acknowledged some of the lower paid employees would come out a little ahead, but only until those federal benefits ran out at the end of July. 

The program itself is scheduled to last for 12 weeks. Some groups of state employees are eligible, first line responders, most people doing work related to COVID, and a few other exceptions. Everyone else, around 4,000 state workers, would be eligible to participate. The state is seeking a minimum of 25% participation and a maxim of 50%. Government could save $5 million if they reach their minimum goal of 1,000 workers participating.

The state of Rhode Island is currently facing a budget shortfall of $800 million from lost revenue due to the state shutdown. Raimondo and other state leaders have emphasized state government would look a lot different on the other side of that budget without federal aid, cuts to essential services unfathomable to any living Rhode Islander. The governor remains hopeful of more stimulus legislation coming out of Congress and is reassured by her communication with other governors (including those of red states) and our own federal delegation. 

Massachusetts announced earlier they would allow some form of outside visitation for nursing homes. When asked for comment, the governor said she was erring on the side of caution. It does not change her thinking, she said, nor does she think Governor Baker is wrong. The reason for the delayed start time today was actually a phone call from the White House. White House officials were leaning on governors to lean on nursing homes to handle infection control and inspections much better. Nursing home deaths account for the majority of fatalities in Rhode Island.

The governor has repeatedly identified the rioters from Monday’s overnight looting as out of state agitators. Motif reporters have looked at the data, and the overwhelming majority of those arrested were from Rhode Island. When asked for comment about this from Motif, the governor said, “We don’t know. It’s an active investigation.” She said she found the tactics used in Providence mirrored other protests, suggesting some kind of coordinated effort from outside the state.

Tomorrow’s press conference is at 1pm. As a reminder, next week the press conferences will drop down to three times a week: Monday/Wednesday/Fridays at 1pm. You can watch them on local news, Facebook Live, or Capitol TV. Motif will have the summary up later that afternoon, as well as any other press conferences related to the Monday night lootings or COVID crisis.




Fest: June 2020




Providence Curfew: Mayor Elorza asks citizens to stay home

Providence mayor Jorge Elorza pictured here at a Bike to Work Day event in Burnside Park, May 15, 2015.

Mayor Jorge Elorza announced this afternoon he was instituting a curfew starting tonight at 9pm until 6am tomorrow morning. It will be effective for a week until June 9th and if it needs to be extended, Providence City Council will have to vote to extend it. The announcement comes the day after a series of mass overnight lootings in the city’s downtown district. He made the announcement today with Public Safety Commissioner Stephen Pare also present, as well as a local community member who protected the store Expressions last night. The venue for the presser was outside the same store.

The mayor and Commissioner Pare emphasized today that people in cars would not be stopped, but the focus was on clearing the streets and monitoring any activity similar to yesterday evening. The press, people traveling to work, first responders, the city’s homeless and people seeking medical treatment/supplies or fleeing dangerous circumstances are all exempt from the order. The mayor insisted it would make peaceful protesting that much safer. The city now has the legal authority to issue fines and disperse crowds if they break curfew, but Pare commented they would rather just ask. 

Neither Elorza nor Pare had anything to say on where the National Guard would be stationed in Providence. Such decisions they said were up to the National Guard unit itself. Providence police is available to send mutual aid to other cities and towns as needed and vice versa, as many other cities and MA did last night. 

Cranston was the first town to issue a curfew effective at 8pm until 6am the following day. Cranston police are also expected to increase patrols tonight. Warwick as well has issued a curfew with the same 8pm to 6am hours. Garden City and Warwick Mall have been suggested as possible targets tonight by law enforcement, citing intelligence gathering and social media chatter. Both towns have similar exemptions to the curfew as Providence.




Photo Essay: The Streets of Providence on June 2

During the wee hours of June 2, the streets of Providence erupted in violence. Local photographer Josh Bronto was on the scene. His work follows.

All photos credit: Josh Bronto, joshbronto.com; @sorryaboutyoureyebrows




Raimondo Says Rhode Islanders Should Feel Safe: A summary of the governor’s June 2 press conference

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo speaks at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Providence Pedestrian Bridge.

Governor Gina Raimondo and DOH director Dr. Nicole Alexander Scott gave the COVID press briefing today at 1pm.

The data for today is as follows: 101 new cases, 188 hospitalized, 48 of those in the ICU and 31 people on ventilators. Testing in Rhode Island has seen a positive rate of less than 5% the past few days. There were 12 new deaths to report today, bringing the Ocean State’s total to 732. Four people who died since yesterday were in their 70s, two in their 80s and six in their 90s. Nursing homes make up 76% of the total COVID-related fatalities in RI.

Much of the questions today from the press were about the attack on Providence last night. The governor was asked if state officials knew about the planned violence last night downtown, why wasn’t the National Guard activated sooner? Raimondo responded it was a difficult decision, saying “You can’t send in the National Guard every time you get a tip there might be a social gathering.”

Raimondo emphasized the police presence at the mall last night. Her differing view is that they arrested almost 70 people out of the hundreds there last night. Compared to Boston, she reasoned, the state was prepared and had success last night. She credited the actions of local law enforcement, as well as the RI state and MA state troopers, in keeping the situation from being worse. Raimondo said that people came from out of state to blow up the mall, torch the State House and much of the capital city.

The governor is prepared to deploy hundreds of additional National Guardsmen in addition to the ones already called up for COVID-related operations. Raimondo said she wasn’t worried about over extending the Guard, that they have plenty of capacity. She stressed people in Rhode Island should feel safe, and that the National Guard will enhance the security presence throughout the Ocean State. The governor announced she would have specific measures to announce vis a vis the National Guard deployment later tonight.

Raimondo today repeated her comments from the earlier morning press briefing that last night’s perpetrators were not the same as the peaceful protesters from Saturday. “They weren’t even pretending to protest,” said the governor. Law enforcement is currently monitoring the situation. As WPRI reports, there is intel to suggest there might be some kind of action at Garden City or Warwick Mall tonight. The governor assured the state of Rhode Island that she would do what it takes to keep Rhode Island safe, sparing no resource. She expects the investigation to be ongoing for some time.

When asked if state officials were worried about an outbreak, Dr. Alexander-Scott answered they were always vigilant about possible outcomes and outbreaks. The governor answered they would have to wait two or three weeks to analyze the data. Even then it would be difficult to tell if a spike was from the Phase 2 reopening or the mass gatherings last night.

As a last note, the governor also announced next week the press conferences would be reduced to three times during the week. They are switching to a Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule at 1pm. Tomorrow’s press conference is at 2:30pm, with the rest of the week being at 1pm.

You can watch the governor’s press conferences on local news, Facebook Live or Capitol TV. As always Motif will have our summary up sometime later in the day. You can follow our livetweets of the governor’s press events @motifmagri on Twitter.




“Organized Anti-Government Type of People” Behind Last Night’s Actions: A summary of the Governor Raimondo, Mayor Elorza and Colonel Manni press conference

Governor Gina Raimondo, Mayor Jorge Elorza and RI State Police Colonel James Manni held a press conference today at 11:30am, briefing the press on the actions they are taking after last night’s attack in Providence.

“What are saw last night was not a protest,” said Governor Raimondo this morning. “What we saw last night was an organized attack on our community.” She continued, stating that people showed up with weapons with the intent to do violence, disrupt and destroy. Raimondo announced that the Commerce Department would be doing a walkabout to survey businesses. The attack struck, Raimondo said, “small businesses that were just getting back on their feet after being closed for a couple months from the coronavirus epidemic.”

While no detailed measures were announced today, the governor did announce she is activating the Rhode Island National Guard to help with law enforcement in the days to come. “As your governor, it is my responsibility to keep you safe and that’s what I’ll do,” said Raimondo. She added that the people from last night would be held accountable for their actions. She and other state leaders were putting all the options on the table, including a curfew. The governor declined to confirm whether a curfew would be instated, saying they wanted to be sure it would be effective.

Mayor Elorza concurred, and noted that as early as 5am community members were arriving to help clean up from the attacks. “They just want to help,” he said of community and elected officials who reached out to him. “They just want to be part of the solution.”

Colonel Manni today repeated that Providence and State police were not caught off guard by last night’s events. Law enforcement had intelligence that said something might occur late last night at the mall. Manni noted that the video from Minnesota of George Floyd made him sick, and added that last night was not a protest over that. Manni demurred on the specifics of what and how they knew, saying that they have intelligence and surveillance they monitor every day. “Intelligence gathering is one of our biggest tools in law enforcement.”

Manni gave credit to Providence Police for protecting the city buildings. When asked by the press who the organizers from last night’s looting were, Manni answered they were an “organized anti-government type of people.”

The governor when asked assured that peaceful protests could still happen and she encouraged it. There is another Black Lives Matter protest scheduled for Friday. Today the governor was also asked if she supported removing the phrasing plantations from the state name, and Raimondo came out in favor of removing the word plantations, finding it offensive.

The final minutes of the press conference included Rep. Anatasia Williams aggressively asking the governor to support the black community in Rhode Island and to do more in combating racism. The governor agreed there was more work to do and invited Rep. Williams to join her and continue to do it.

The governor’s COVID-19 presser is still at 1pm as of this writing. We may update this article periodically throughout the day as more information is shared.




Discord in Providence Monday Night: “These folks were out to cause trouble”

Providence mayor Jorge Elorza pictured here at a Bike to Work Day event in Burnside Park, May 15, 2015.

If you’re a Providence resident who woke up this morning, the city looks a little bit rougher. Overnight looting starting at the mall and fanning out downtown went on until the wee hours of the morning. Mayor Jorge Elorza, Police Safety Commissioner Stephen Pare, and other city leaders held a press conference in front of city hall this morning at 8am.

Mayor Elorza began talking about the struggle for justice for George Floyd and the unspooling felt around the country last week. He said he’s been to a lot of protests and that he doesn’t believe the people last night were protesters. “These folks were out to cause trouble.”

There was chattering on social media for much of yesterday that something was going to happen at 11pm at Providence Place Mall. It closed early, and state and Providence Police increased their presence around it. Crowds began congregating en masse around midnight. Around 60 people got into the mall and began smashing windows and damaging security systems of more than a dozen stores. According to Pare, law enforcement got them out of the mall. Some folks vandalized a Providence police car with ACAB graffiti (stands for all cops are bastards), launched fireworks into it and then set it on fire. Sometime after, law enforcement fired tear gas to disperse the crowd around Francis Street. Roughly around or after that time, various groups of people began smashing windows and looting downtown businesses.

Five police cars were damaged in addition to the one on fire. Police had one report of shots fired, but were not sure if it was related to the looting last night. Fewer than a dozen officers were injured last night, as some protesters/looters threw bricks or bottles at them. The mayor said it could be worse; there were several attempts to set fires, but the worst around downtown this morning is large amounts of shattered glass.

The mayor announced this morning they had arrested 65 people. Thirty-five were from Providence, five were from Massachusetts and the rest were from various towns around the Ocean State. The charges are not clear. Elorza said, “Hard to believe it wasn’t organized, but you never know with social media.” Many people in the crowds (not necessarily the looters) were livestreaming events on various social media feeds.

Elorza said he and Governor Gina Raimondo would be discussing appropriate measures later today. He acknowledged nothing is off the table, including a curfew. The governor is set to give her COVID briefing to the press today at 1pm. When asked if Eloza would avail himself to President Trump’s office of deploying the United States military, he flatly said no.

“We were as prepared as we could be,” said Pare. He emphasized the need to have discussions with hurt, marginalized communities, to resolve tensions in a way that doesn’t cause injuries to officers, civilians or protesters. Pare said Providence police were in contact with the organizers of the protest scheduled for Friday, and he believed they are separate from last night’s group.