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Hundreds block Minneapolis streets and sit in outside Basilica Block Party demanding justice for Philando Castile

By Brad Sigal |
July 10, 2016
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March for justice for Philando Castile blocks Hennepin Ave in Minneapolis
Above:
March for justice for Philando Castile blocks Hennepin Ave in Minneapolis (Fight Back! News/Staff)
March for justice for Philando Castile in downtown Minneapolis, 7/9/16
March for justice for Philando Castile in downtown Minneapolis, 7/9/16
Right:
March for justice for Philando Castile in downtown Minneapolis, 7/9/16 (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Left:
March for justice for Philando Castile in downtown Minneapolis, 7/9/16 (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Minneapolis, MN - On a sunny Saturday afternoon July 9, hundreds of people gathered in Loring Park, marched through downtown Minneapolis then sat in outside two entrances to the Basilica Block Party demanding justice for Philando Castile. Castile was murdered by St. Anthony police officers Thursday night on Larpenteur Avenue, as his girlfriend and her daughter sat in the car with him during a traffic stop and his girlfriend recorded live video of the incident to Facebook. The video went viral provoking outrage and protests nationwide.

At the rally in Loring Park there was an open mic emceed by Minneapolis NAACP President Nekima Levy Pounds. Several people spoke at the rally including Susana De Leon who talked about the five Latinos who have been killed by police in the past week around the country, and the need to build Black-Brown unity to win justice.

When the rally in the park ended, the marchers, wearing red to symbolize the blood shed by Philando Castile, marched north through downtown Minneapolis, blocking intersections up and down Hennepin Avenue and marching through all lanes in both directions as traffic was brought to a standstill. As the march moved through downtown, many bystanders applauded the march and even many drivers who were in blocked traffic held up peace signs and fists to show their support, making clear the depth of outrage over the police murder of Philando Castile.

As marchers looped back southward on Hennepin Avenue they marched up to one of the entrances of the Basilica Block Party, a popular summer music festival held at the downtown Basilica church. Police quickly scrambled into formation to block marchers from entering the block party, in the process jostling and shoving back the people in the march. Marchers then sat in for about 20 minutes outside the entrance. Marchers then came around the Basilica to another entrance that was not blocked, as some protesters got through but then police quickly blocked the way of the rest of the marchers. Protesters again sat in outside that entrance. As people inside the block party saw what was going on, many stopped to listen and a few came out and joined the protesters. The march then returned to Loring Park.

A separate march for justice for Philando Castile was called for Saturday evening at the governor’s mansion in Saint Paul. Protesters have occupied the street in front of the governor’s mansion around the clock since Thursday night.

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