Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

Minnesota protesters will not be intimidated by police scare tactics

By Amanda Hamilton

The people demand Justice for George Floyd

Enter a descriptive sentence about the photo here.

Minneapolis, MN – On February 17, Mayor Jacob Frey, other city officials, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and various other entities held two separate press conferences to address what their departments are doing to ‘ensure the safety’ of residents, businesses and other surrounding cities during the upcoming March court trial for Derek Chauvin, who is being tried for the brutal murder of George Floyd. At least a dozen organizations, including Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar, are working together to plan a major rally on the opening day of court March 8, and plan continuing actions throughout the trial.

Organizers are critical that city and police officials implied the protesters who took to the streets after Floyd's death were criminals, dubbing them as people whose goals were merely to cause violence and destruction, rather than people exhibiting expressions of righteous outrage and grief who are rising up against oppression and demanding justice.

The officials’ press conferences prioritized instilling fear of protesters while saying nothing about holding police accountable. Government officials announced the deployment if a massive police force, including ‘mutual aid’ from police departments across the state, as well as up to 3000 members of the National Guard. To top it all off, millions of dollars have been allocated to aid in emergency services.

“My biggest take away from it all was that use of force is actually about protecting property and the state and not First Amendment rights. More than a call to even defend property, it is a dog whistle to defend the police and Chauvin,” said TCC4J’s Sam Martinez. “Given that they have allowed white supremacists to protest and tear up state and federal capitols, and to openly violate state COVID restrictions with barbeques on the governor’s front lawn, they have no room to speak about good protesters versus bad protesters.”

Protest organizers also noted that these actions are a waste of resources and money for our communities, many of whom are already struggling with lack of affordable housing and housing concerns, lack of food support, unemployment, lack of healthcare and mental health services, all during a pandemic in a brutal Minnesota winter.

On March 8, hundreds will be outside the Hennepin County Government Center to demand justice for George Floyd and all stolen lives, by any means necessary. City and law enforcement officials claimed they would ensure first amendment rights are protected. When protesters come armed with bullhorns, banners and signs, they will not be intimidated by repressive scare tactics and militarized law enforcement. Instead, they’ll demand convictions of all George Floyd’s killers and real police accountability, including a Civilian Police Accountability Council in Minneapolis and the reopening of other cases to prosecute more killer cops.

#MinneapolisMN #PeoplesStruggles #PoliceBrutality #GeorgeFloyd #DerekChauvin