Joe Biden condemns violence at protests: ‘Rioting is not protesting’

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden forcefully condemned violence and looting after another weekend of deadly clashes between protesters, supporters of President Donald Trump and police officers in several U.S. cities.

“Rioting is not protesting. Looking is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting. None of this is protesting. It’s lawlessness, plain and simple. … Violence will not bring change. It will only bring destruction. It’s wrong in every way,” Biden said during a speech in Pittsburgh Monday.

“We must not burn. We have to build,” the former vice president added.

Biden also pushed back on the image Trump and Republicans have tried to paint of him as being soft on crime and of being beholden to the far-left elements of his party.

“Ask yourself: Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioting? Really?” Biden asked.

The monthslong protests against racial injustice and police brutality that began earlier this summer after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis were fueled again this month after Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by a Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer.

A man was shot and killed in downtown Portland, Oregon, Saturday night after a large group of Trump supporters and members of a violent far-right group drove a caravan of cars through the city. Videos posted online showed fights breaking out between Trump supporters and the protesters. Trump tweeted “Rest In Peace” about the man killed Saturday.

Last week, prosecutors charged a 17-year-old for shooting three people, killing two, during protests against police brutality in Kenosha after joining up with a group of vigilantes seeking to “protect” public property.

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