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‘MN Ain’t Fair’ protest march to state fairgrounds demands justice for stolen lives

By staff |
August 24, 2020
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St Paul protest marches to state fairgrounds demanding justice for stolen lives
St Paul protest marches to state fairgrounds demanding justice for stolen lives (Photo by Kim DeFranco)

St. Paul, MN - Over 200 people gathered on a sweltering August 23 in a park here, before marching to the gates of the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. This is the fifth year the march on the state fair has been held.

At the park, t-shirts given to attendees. The front of the shirts declared that Black, native, Hmong, brown and stolen lives matter. The back of the shirts had a dizzying list of dozens of names of people who were murdered by cops in the state.

Monique Cullars Doty has been the main organizer of the annual event. Her nephew, Marcus Golden, was murdered by Saint Paul police on January 14, 2015, at the age of 24. Since then, she has worked to give courage to all families affected by police violence to speak out and demand justice. Cullars Doty designed the day’s t-shirt. Several family members of the murder victims listed spoke at rally.

The crowd moved on to Snelling Avenue and marched north to the fairgrounds, where they blocked the main gate. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the fair was reduced to a drive-through ‘food parade,’ where tickets to purchase fair food at the 13-day event sold out in a few hours. The protest and march forced the police to redirect traffic to another gate. Thousands of ‘fairgoers’ knew the people’s demands that day.

The march was organized by Justice 4 Marcus Golden, with the support of Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar, Black Lives Matter MN, Racial Justice Network, Justice 4 Cordale Handy, BLM Twin Cities Metro and others.