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Roll 4 Justice - Protest on wheels demands justice for all on July 4 in Minneapolis

By Montana Hirsch |
July 6, 2020
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Minneapolis protest demands justice
Minneapolis protest demands justice (Photo by Jama Tushaus)

Minneapolis, MN - On July 4, more than 200 protesters took the streets on wheels for a new type of march calling for an end to a fundamentally racist criminal justice system and “#Justice4All.” Protesters were on bikes, rollerblades, roller skates, skateboards, as well as in a car caravan as they rolled through various neighborhoods in Minneapolis. The protest was organized by Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) along with co-hosts Native Lives Matter, CAIR-Minnesota, LatinoAltRock, and Asamblea de Derechos Civiles. Messaging included slogans such as: “Abolish ICE,” “Prosecute the police,” and linking the struggles with: “The whole damn system is guilty as hell.”

The protest began downtown at Minneapolis City Hall where protesters gathered and were led in some chants before hitting the streets to roll through Minneapolis. The route was about five miles long, and many protesters joined along the way as the group could be heard chanting and rolling to music that played from the lead car. The protest ended at a lake, Bde Maka Ska, where there was a rally and speeches from organizers such as Ashley Quinones from Justice for Brian Quinones, various immigrant rights organizers and DACA recipients, as well as a surprise guest appearance from Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.

In her speech, Omar made it clear that she was attending this rally as an organizer and not as part of her campaign: “I know this isn’t my space as an elected, it’s the space of organizers and so I don’t show up as your representative in congress today, I show up as an organizer, as an activist.” In her speech, she asserted that she is not satisfied with the status quo: “We are living under a system that continues to brutalize and victimize Black and brown bodies. We are living under a system that continues to cage children and separate families. We are living under a system that puts working people, the people in the need of the most support on the frontlines of a raging pandemic and refuses to provide the medical and the economic support they need.”

The speeches concluded the event’s emcee and organizer from MIRAC, who reminded that crowd to hold elected officials like Ilhan Omar and the Democratic Party accountable for their actions and called attention to the immigrants and activists who fought for DACA and continue to fight today. She also brought attention to the location of the rally, in the wealthy, mostly white Uptown neighborhood: “I appreciate that we are here in a white space, in a gentrified area. We need to make privileged people feel uncomfortable.”

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