Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

Minneapolis protests Trump's repression in Portland

By Sam Martinez

Minneapolis march against repression in Portland

Minneapolis, MN – Over 600 people rallied and marched here, July 23, at the “Portland to Minneapolis: Protest Trump’s Goons Attacking Our Movement,” called by the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar (TCC4J.)

On July 20, Trump announced plans to send the Department of Homeland Security to cities across the U.S. Agents in military fatigues were deployed in Portland, grabbing demonstrators off the street, detaining them in unmarked cars and attacking protesters. Homeland Security agents were also sent to Washington, DC and Seattle. 150 federal agents are headed to Chicago, and there are reports that 2000 more are on standby for deployments to other cities. In response, the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar called for a solidarity rally at the downtown Minneapolis federal court building along with the rest of the Twin Cities movement.

Trump’s moves are an attempt to quell a historic country-wide Black-led, multinational working-class wave of rebellions and mass protests. The upsurge is in response to the recent murder of George Floyd and lynchings across the country, which represent the national oppression of Black folks. Protests have taken place in Portland every night since George Floyd was killed, as they have in Minneapolis and cities across the country. Curfews, the National Guard, and now these unmarked federal agents are all intimidation tactics aimed at bringing the protests to an end. Just like the people of Minneapolis violating curfews night after night, and rallying day after day despite National Guard presence, people in Portland are fearlessly taking the streets in ever greater numbers.

The Minneapolis protest and march included speeches and spoken word from 19 organizations from across the Twin Cities. David Gilbert-Pederson, a member of Minnesota Workers United, gave a rousing speech to the protesters. In speaking about the Filipino homeland Gilbert-Pederson stated, “Back home it was never the politicians or the NGOs or the ruling class or the philanthropists that helped – it was working people.”

Toshira Garraway Allen of Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence also spoke, calling for the crowd to leverage their collective power to create change, stating, “When they took our loved ones they left us with no choice but to fight for what [we] believe in,” she said in a powerful address.

After most of the speeches and as the crowd began moving into the streets, a medical emergency occurred. Danielle Burns, the sister of Jamar Clark, and Toshira Garraway assisted as other medics from the movement joined to ensure safety of the protester.

Later, when crowds returned and speeches and the protest ended, organizers were approached by someone looking for bail assistance. The young brother asked for bail support for his partner who was taken to the county jail in an unrelated incident after attending the protest. The movement gathered the funds in minutes and then proceeded to go down the block and pay the bail. It was a demonstration of the movement’s demand and program to “Free ‘em all!”

TCC4J announced that there would be an emergency response if further action was needed to protect the people’s movement against violent military occupation. The July 23 protest cohosts included: Communities United Against Police Brutality, Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence, Minnesota Youth For Justice, Council on American Islamic Relations – Minnesota, Committee to Stop FBI Repression, Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee, Anti-War Committee, Women's March Minnesota, Racial Justice Network, National Lawyers Guild Minnesota, Movement Support Network, Cop Watch Minneapolis, Students for a Democratic Society at UMN, Native Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter Twin Cities Metro, Black Lives Matter Minnesota, Minnesota Workers United, Freedom Road Socialist Organization-Twin Cities, and Blue LIES Matter.

#MinneapolisMN #TCC4J #Portland