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Minnesota: Student protest demands justice for George Floyd

By Liam Vertal |
June 3, 2020
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Minneapolis, MN - June 1 marked the fourth of a planned eight days of protest by University of Minnesota students in Dinkytown, a university neighborhood, following the death of George Floyd. Chanting slogans such as “I can’t breathe” and “No justice, no peace,” dozens of students blocked a road at the intersection of 15th Avenue SE and 4th Street SE.

The protest was organized by the unofficial student group, UMN Student Workers. One organizer explained that their intention was to give those students who lacked transportation a chance to protest nearer to their homes. They said that, while the protest was planned to last eight days, they intended to set aside some days in between protest to rest and hold supply drives for those unable to buy groceries.

About an hour into the protest a car attempted to drive through the line of students. Fortunately, nobody was hit by the car and rather than harming the protest, this incident electrified it. The students chanted with renewed vigor and passers-by joined in on the chanting. The most emotional moment came when the students took a knee for nine minutes, reflecting the amount of time it is said that the police officer, Derek Chauvin, held his knee on George Floyd’s neck.

Just before 8 p.m. police officers dressed in camouflage fatigues closed in on the protest, according to reports on social media. The officers then began arresting students at 8:01 p.m., even though the day’s curfew was set to begin at 10 p.m. Between three and five people were arrested and given citations.

Despite this harassment, the students intend to continue their protests for the full eight days. The commitment of these protesters shows that the students of UMN stand in firm solidarity with the cause of Black liberation.

 

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