During the American night, the National Guard and the police regained control of the free zone of Minneapolis, remained at the mercy of the most destructive demonstrators for two consecutive nights. Law enforcement officers appeared massively around 9 pm along East Lake Street advancing from three sides and gathering a few hundred young people, a much lower number than yesterday and the day before yesterday. At 18 Minnesota Governor Tim Walz warned: I have given order to National Guard to shoot those who indulge themselves looting. The warning convinced the last undecided to return home before 20, the hour when the curfew started which will last until 6 in Minneapolis (13 in Italy). But a good part of the movement had already given up: it was a decision that can easily be defined as political.
Minneapolis, the clashes over the death of George Floyd
Already during the afternoon it was clear that the leaders of civil rights associations and religious communities, very active in the field, had managed to direct moods. Throughout the day, the road of devastation was the destination of a surreal pilgrimage, people who curious, who took selfies or posed photos. Una no man’s land, without even the idea of a uniform nearby. Without exaggerating: a post-bombing scenario. The Third Police District, the one he was in charge of former agent Derek Chauvin, former policeman now in jail on charges of killing African American George Floyd (manslaughter), was the first building set on fire. But those nearby have been stripped of fire. The ruins of an impressive Ethiopian – Asian – vegetarian restaurant are still steaming hot. The Pawn shop buying and selling shop completely gutted. The trail of vandalism almost a kilometer long: just to give an idea of what it was like violent and prolonged destruction.
A shock to Minneapolis. As the hours pass, the reaction is seen. Since the morning dozens of girls and boys showed up with brooms, spades, rakes, paint and brushes to clean the sidewalks and repaint a part of the walls covered with writing. In the large parking lot of the Target supermarket, on the other side of the Third district, the volunteers they recovered the goods abandoned by the looters in the mud. They piled it up on the tables and distributed it to citizens for free. Everything agreed, of course, with the direction of the chain. A group of teachers from an elementary school arrived with the vintage Volkswagen bus. They brought sandwiches, cakes, drinks for young people to work at Target. Many of them also attended events, but they had already planned to leave before twenty.
The irreducible gathered in the two poles symbol of this story. The Third Police District and the intersection of 38th and Chicago Avenue. Two squares united by anger and indignation. But different in tone and content. From there, the hardest activists on East Lake Street only appeared around 7.30pm. From here, however, the afternoon was full, animated by loud music and political speeches. A few minutes before twenty, the religious leaders, who came from different cities, dismantled the van stage: We respect the laws of the state, even if we don’t like them. There is a curfew and we go home. We will be here tomorrow at 11 am. It’s up to you to choose. Most people are gone. A hundred remained, led by a girl who just before everyone showed the phone number to call in case of arrest. Then they moved in procession and after half an hour they ended up in the mouth of the police and the National Guard. Some confrontations, tear gas. Many arrests. During the night, the agents follow in the footsteps of the other splinters, who fled East Lake Street. And we go back to discussing their identity: African American anarchists and infiltrated white supremacists? It is too dark to think clearly. But it will be the theme of the next few hours.
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