Filed under: Action, Featured, Midwest, Police, Repression, The State
Report from so-called Minneapolis, where a non-profit funded by the City attempted to evict and shut down George Floyd Square.
from stolen Dakota Land
Since the murder of George Floyd, while radicals continue to struggle for liberation, we have also seen a disturbing yet albeit predictable wave of counter-insurgency fronts in the Minneapolis area. The police have learned from the Jamar Clark protests in 2015, from George Floyd Square (GFS), and from the Daunte Wright uprising in Brooklyn Center in April – how the utilization of black bodies and “community leaders” is one of their most effective efforts towards demobilization. Black folks of certain classes, facing out from the pigs towards the people “de-escalating” situations with threats of violence and “verbal judo” (something that can only be taken to mean weaponizing identity politics against those who seek to militantly resist the State). Many of the members of Agape, a non-profit contacted by the city, were on the frontlines, and to see those who moved dumpsters and blocked the streets just one year later threatening and issuing slurs at those who came with the notion to defend the square leaves a gaping hole in our heart. Agape is paid very well to co-opt our revolt against the police state.
A glance at the city's contract with Agape, which I obtained about a month ago.
$40/hr. Total compensation will not exceed $25k for the year. pic.twitter.com/hPzN1d7FZ4
— JD Duggan (@JDugganMN) June 3, 2021
These hands of collaboration watch over our movement and pretend to be an ally. But in reality, they are there to “peace police” at their best, be informants and hands of the states at their worst. Other cities should take note.
Yesterday morning, the community org assured that only the barricades would be moved, only “city property,” but suddenly candles and effigies and plants begin to be drawn up, welding tools, forklifts to move the sheds, and only a skeleton crew of semi-militants left to defend them, folks who had believed the organization would not stoop this low to show to the city that they were cooperative. Any dissent towards the city was stomped out by Agape, who was not only inside the square but on the perimeter telling people “we’re working, only city workers allowed in.” Though disappointed, we took our time and waited for more community members. Around 10am an anonymous person was given an email sent by the city to its workers regarding the clearing of the square and Agape/MPD’s job to “fix the problem.”
— MNUPRISING (@MnUrising) June 3, 2021
People continued to arrive en mass and voice their indignation both online and in person. Mutual Aid in the form of food, water, squares, and barricade material was rushed to 38th and Chicago.
— Eric Silvatongue (@silvaculture) June 3, 2021
Agape continued to trash barricades, hurl homophobic and misogynistic insults, and threaten to fight people but each time they left, the barricades were set up again.
Agape continues to pull down the barricades at GFS and are trying to intimidate people. One of them tried to physically fight me today when I asked why he’s working for the cops. If you ever felt inclined to mobilize, the time is now. https://t.co/gs2vV5Ro45
— little onion (@zola_ellen) June 3, 2021
Wow, I’m at George Floyd Square (Chicago and 37th) and a man in an Agape shirt and another woman is physically intimating people and has told someone to shut their “gay ass” up when they engaged in conversation – What in the fuck @CityMinneapolis?
— Quentin Ocama, M.Ed (@QuentinOcama) June 3, 2021
After 2pm, people at and around GFS were alerted to another murder at the hands of the pigs in Uptown—less than 4 miles from where George was executed. The initial story the pigs gave to state run media was that Hennepin county sheriff’s “pursued a murder suspect.” As people grouped up at the scene—a five story parking garage in uptown’s business district—the arrival of ATF and DHS confused and angered us. Clearly the State was lying again.
US Marshals and ATF on-site…must be serious pic.twitter.com/LRk6bxODgv
— James Tucker (@tucker_dev) June 3, 2021
At 7:00pm a statement from US Marshals told a different story completely. Multiple agencies had tracked Winston Smith, a local comedian, on the belief that he had illegally purchased a gun. The language in the statement is vague and we don’t have many answers but the fact remains that once again the state extra-judicially murdered another black man. And like Philando Castile, the notion of a black man owning a firearm has been criminalized and deemed worthy of state murder.
The US Marshals Service has released this statement about the shooting in Uptown: pic.twitter.com/vOpsCKsGBj
— Lisa Bender – Minneapolis Ward 10 (@MplsWard10) June 4, 2021
After the pigs left, people continued to hold it down. A dumpster was set on fire—melting to the ground, and a few windows were smashed. The event was mostly peaceful—property destruction is not violent. Most people chatted with each other and stared into the fire with righteous joy. At the same time, comrades held down GFS and continued to re-enforce barricades. It is inspiring how quickly and how militantly that space was reclaimed. We understand the importance of terrain and that the fight must spread the state thin by being diffuse.
— 🖤✨Human Hummingbird✨🖤 ❄️ (@riotousmuse) June 4, 2021
Pigs inevitably showed face after midnight. It was a push and shove for an hour before the pigs ambushed us. Lines of charging pigs stormed out of an ally to make several violent arrests including the use of “spit bags” over an arrestees head.
The next five days will be in the high 90’s, making it the hottest week of the year. It is unclear what will happen this weekend. We will continue to show up and say his name – Winston Smith!
They thought they could placate us by convicting Derek Chauvin. That did nothing to save Winston Smith’s life. When we said abolish the police, we meant it. Not reform, not define, but demolish it from the roots up. That, is the compromise.
— 38th And Chicago Avenue (@GeorgeFloydSQ) June 4, 2021