/ 28 May 2020

Here we go again. On Monday of this week Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin arrested George Floyd, and used a restraint hold (kneeling on his neck) that either killed him outright, or certainly contributed to his death.

On Tuesday there were large protests and a march that for the most part were very calm and peaceful, until the very end when eye witnesses noted young white males involved in property damage at the police station in precinct three. The police moved in with riot gear, tear gas, mace, and rubber bullets.

On Wednesday the protests devolved into angry confrontations with burning of buildings, looting, and destruction of a largely immigrant-owned small business neighborhood.

This morning the Twin Cities are in anguish. Four police officers who were at the scene of the original arrest have been fired. The mayor of Minneapolis and the Chief of Police have asked both the BCA (Bureau of Criminal Apprehension) and the FBI to investigate. The National Guard has been called out.

We must lament, and we must act.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. It is past time for large numbers of us to learn the skills and discipline of nonviolent civil protest. Until all of us are free — and that means healthcare for all, housing for all, good schools for all, real democracy — people will be forced to express their very real and legitimate anger and anguish in these ways.

God help us. Lord have mercy on us.