Last night a group of 3-4 men opened fire on our comrades at the #4thPrecinctShutdown in Minneapolis. They had been harassing the camp for days, releasing videos of themselves brandishing guns inside their SUV, spouting racial slurs, and telling their online audience to “stay white.” Fully aware of their white supremacist leanings, protesters formed a defense committee to remove them the next time they showed. When they refused to leave or identify themselves, things got violent. The racists ran, and when they were far enough away, they opened fire on the protesters.
Police responded by shutting down the street and pepper-spraying the crowd, potentially delaying ambulance response time. Up to 5 were hit, one seriously, although all are expected to survive. The group seems to have been organized by regulars on 4chan’s politics and weapons forums. White supremacist 4chan regulars also coordinated last week’s White Student Union hoax. As of Tuesday, the police say they have arrested two suspects.
The protest is a response to the police murder of Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man who many witnesses say was handcuffed and face-down on the ground when executed by Minneapolis police. Per usual, the police and their supporters want us to believe Clark was reaching for the officer’s weapon. Among other demands, protesters want to see the police video of the incident.
In a similar case in Chicago, a man named Laquan McDonald was murdered by officer Jason Van Dyke, who has a well-documented history of racism and brutality while in uniform. The police force, including the several other cops who were at the scene defended Van Dyke until dash-cam footage of him pumping dozens of rounds into McDonald was ordered released to the public by a Cook County judge. Only once the video began to circulate was Van Dyke arrested and charged with first degree murder.
One of many battle grounds in the growing movement to end police killings and to assert the dignity of black lives in a white-supremacist society, the Minneapolis protesters have survived constant attacks by the police, divide-and-conquer efforts by politicians, and intense cold. Even after taking live fire, they’re still there. They have our total solidarity.
A rally has been called for Weds November 25 at 6pm in Washington Square Park: https://facebook.com/events/868886676513181