Today I made my 6th visit to the area of Minneapolis affected in the wake of George Floyd’s murder on May 25. On this day All was quiet, save for road construction on Lake Street. There is still lots of rubble, but it is contained and ready for removal.
Today for the first time I saw the now notorious 3rd precinct of Minneapolis Police Department. It is one short walking block from “my” place, Gandhi Mahal, which was destroyed by fire on May 29. Two of today’s photos of 3rd precinct are at the end of this post.
Of course today’s quiet in Minneapolis is shrouded with the attempts to demonstrate “American carnage” taking place in Portland OR in the area near the Federal Courthouse, 620 SW Main St. Portland. Nothing like troops and tear gas and protestors to make it seem like demonstrations in a couple of block area of downtown Portland are the end of America.
The last 24 hours here have been interesting. I attempted to watch the House hearings with Attorney General Barr, but it was a bridge too far to last for more than two or three hours. This is street theatre, Washington style. ALL of the participants know the ultimate objective: sound bites on their favorite – or least favorite – TV channel, whatever it happens to be. There is substance there, too, but the ordinary person needs a lot of discipline to discover the context.
Earlier this morning, I picked up the Minneapolis paper, and read on the front page about “Umbrella Man”, the new media star, filmed on May 27 breaking windows in a closed business across from 3rd Precinct at the time of the fires. That story is still developing. You can read it here. Here’s more.
(On May 30, a friend sent a Facebook Post, where someone outlined the varied categories of people who show up – and can mess up – legitimate demonstrations. These were the categories, identified in the post.
Chaos Agents – (Dick: You can bet that there are lots of “umbrella man” types out there).
The correspondent was just expressing his/her own opinion, but its seems pretty comprehensive to me.
I’m just one lonely voice in this terrible situation. About all I can contribute is my single voice, and evidence, of what we are witnessing in real time. I am not a ‘babe in the woods’ on this. A business very familiar to me, Gandhi Mahal, was destroyed in the Minneapolis unrest on May 29. The neighborhood was very well known to me. I visited there often.
The house in the photo that begins this post, was the first home I ever stayed in in Minneapolis, late May, 1965. The picture is from June 30, 2020, and the house still looks the same as it did then – and is a short walk from 38th and Chicago, where George Floyd was killed on May 25. I remarked at the beginning, that the ‘carnage’ was almost exclusively to businesses along the main streets – not the homes beside and off the street. I’m sure the residents were terrified, but they were not the targets. And the businesses were mostly small, catering to the neighborhood, not logical targets for criminals.
The 3rd Precinct, the last two photos below, is one block from Gandhi Mahal. Until yesterday, when I saw it in person, it was a place I had never noticed before. It is now the center of the debate about policing in general. Of course, sound bites enter into everything these days. No one I know – mostly liberals – has suggested “defunding police”. Certainly how funds are used is an essential part of the debate.
I’m a keeper of history. In a box downstairs are all of the newspapers from the time of Covid-19, and I actually pulled out the issues for May 25-31 yesterday to review the awful week of George Floyd’s death.
The posts I’ve done about the time period were May 27, 29, 30, 31, 2020. There have been a couple of posts since, including this one. At least I have some personal history on record. Let’s keep working for resolution.