MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Hundreds of protesters gathered in downtown Minneapolis to march and speak out about the recent violence against Black men by police.
Protesters are calling for the officer who shot Jacob Blake in the back to be arrested and charged. Organizers say what happened in Kenosha is a reminder that nothing’s changed since the death of George Floyd.
The mood was frustrated and angry but also with a touch of hopefulness. Music was playing and there was a belief in the power of the people.
Royce White, with the 10K Foundation, says the social contract between communities and the police needs to be renegotiated.
“That’s why we talk about ideas like sovereignty,” he said. “Do you have freedom of movement? Freedom of economy? Freedom of representation? If you don’t, then you have to really start to find a passion about those things.”
Robert Steib, another protest organizer with the 10K Foundation, says several issues in our country, like TikTok, are distractions.
“This [here] is what really matters — the community and the people that are being oppressed,” he said.
A subject that got international attention this week was the NBA players’ boycott of playoff games. The Milwaukee Bucks led the charge, with Milwaukee being about an hour from Kenosha. The organizers of Sunday’s march and protest say the Bucks took a “great stand” to support social justice.
“As we move further and further away from Colin Kaepernick’s protests, we see how prophetic it was,” White said. “He had the foresight to say that there’s something wrong with us honoring a flag that represents a country that portrays itself as one thing but functions like another. And he had the courage to take a stand and, that way, he took a lot of scrutiny and a lot of people didn’t stand with him, a lot of people that won’t stand with him now, and we’ve got to honor that.”
Included in the march are several spots where protesters knelt and demonstrated “die-ins,” including at the Federal Reserve on Hennepin Avenue. The meaning behind the kneeling is to show the establishment that they don’t own the people in the streets.