Fighting racism with solidarity from the George Floyd Square

Steve Floyd/MSR News 38th & Chicago, near the site of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Mpls police.

The tragedy that occurred on May 25 once again revealed the 400-year-old truth of State oppression. The police exist solely to uphold White supremacy, colonization, and private property. But the response to that violence from the masses in the streets proved another competing truth: where there is repression, there is resistance.

May 25, and the events that followed, have served to further radicalize millions of people.

The undeniable and visceral murder of George Floyd enraged working-class Black, Brown, Asian Indigenous—and yes, some White communities—across the Twin Cities, but also empowered them.

 In defiance of economic injustice and state terror, the youth-led movement took direct action in opposing police terror, some even expropriating chain businesses.

These upsurges have created a consciousness to outlast the smoldering of the buildings and act as a means to rebuild and heal by ways of solidarity.

George Perry Floyd was not the first to be killed on 38th and Chicago and he wouldn’t be the last to fall victim to police violence before the summer had ended. The difference is the newfound popular consciousness to speak up about the treatment of Brown, Black, Asian and Indigenous people and mourn the losses together in support of the common understanding of the State’s role in every murder and suicide.

Yet the intuition of the community and the organizers within and outside of George Floyd Square are grossly underestimated as they continue the rebuilding process through mutual aid, solidarity, and cooperation across demographics.

 The Speedway, reclaimed and repainted as the Peoples’-way, represents a dignified self-determination by means of collective ownership and coalition. Meals are served every night, clothing distributed via clothing drives in a repurposed metro bus shelter, and community assemblies gather every morning and evening to uphold the revolutionary concepts of collectivization and cooperation. 

Every Tuesday evening, the George Floyd Square peoples’ autonomous zone community organizes political education. This includes screenings of films portraying revolutionary events and figures and past movements to advance human rights in the US and abroad, followed by dialogue and discussion. It is necessary to interact with historical movements to empower this one in appreciation and understanding of the struggles of our elders.

An organic community defense team has taken shape, composed of people from within and outside of the community who all see cops for what they are: a force of violent repression tasked with upholding private property rights, unequal economic relations, the prison-industrial complex, and White Supremacy.

 As we work towards abolition of the forces that oppress us, we trust in the people to step up and care for one another. As Black Panther Afeni Shakur once said, “We will rule ourselves, make our own progress, our own mistakes, our own friends, and our own enemies. We will judge our own.”

We organize with a common enemy in mind and common goals for uplifting the neighborhood. We intend to show that this kind of collective autonomy, which values protection and safety and community over punishment and individualism, is possible in other communities. We organize with the understanding that Black liberation is everyone’s liberation. 

 To paraphrase Fred Hampton, “We’re not going to fight racism with racism, we’re going to fight racism with solidarity.”

From the Community of George Floyd Square