Statement by Ambassador Traina on current events in the United States

“Like many in Austria and the millions in the United States who are peacefully demonstrating on the streets of American cities, I too was horrified to learn of the death of George Floyd. This tragedy has filled Americans and people all over the world with shock, grief, and anger. It is important that those responsible be held accountable in a court of law. The U.S. Department of Justice has acted swiftly to investigate what happened.  This tragedy does not reflect all Americans. We are a country of 330 million citizens. Millions of Americans are standing up, speaking out, and peacefully marching against racism and injustice.  The first amendment of our Constitution guarantees the rights to free expression and assembly. Those demonstrating today are part of a long history of Americans making their voices heard in defense of liberty and fundamental freedoms. I am saddened that there are many who are unfairly bearing the burden of the rioting and looting, including churches, small business owners, and police officers who are honorably fulfilling their duties. We must not allow violence to drown out what are legitimate grievances.We agree that dialogue is the best path forward. And that’s what we’re now seeing. We see communities coming together to protect individuals and property, police and demonstrators talking to each other, and a national conversation starting to take place.  It is my firm conviction that America will emerge from this crisis a stronger and more just nation, one that lives up to its highest ideals.”