Minneapolis now resembles a police state. The National Guard is occupying key points of the city with tanks and automatic weapons, including bridges and intersections which have been occupied by protestors in recent days. The Third Precinct police station is still smouldering, and the nearby 5th Police Precinct is surrounded by barbed wire and barricades. Thousands of volunteers are cleaning up the streets and most businesses remain boarded up, yet in an inspiring display of the deep solidarity that still exists, painted on top of the boards are statements of ongoing solidarity.
George Floyd suffocated to death with a Minneapolis Police Officer’s knee to his neck on May 25th, 2020. Video of Floyd’s murder released by the Washington Post clearly shows the police lied about Floyd resisting arrest. Murdered as someone who “looked like a suspect,” the events surrounding George Floyd’s death expose the casual yet deadly brutality of the police.
While states order workers to “stay home”, the country battles a nationwide crisis to remain housed that started far before the pandemic. One in four Americans spend more than half of their monthly income on housing to keep up with rents that have increased more than 150% on average since 2010. As a result, on April 1, only a third of U.S. tenants paid their rent — the unconscionable predicament that tens of millions of working people find themselves in after just one missed paycheck.
When Trump was elected in 2016, a chorus of establishment Democrats from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama to Nancy Pelosi urged ordinary Americans to “give him a chance.” Pelosi went as far as to say she “prayed for his success.” While these political leaders were welcoming Trump into the Oval Office, hundreds of thousands of people were taking to the streets in protest of his election.