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‘Wall Of Forgotten Natives’ Encampment Revived After Five Years

On the morning of Thursday, August 24, Minnesota State Troopers clambered over an overturned car, piles of street lamps, and concrete barriers brought in to fortify the perimeter of a strip of land known as the Wall of Forgotten Natives as its roughly 140 residents moved their belongings out.  When unhoused residents of Minneapolis moved back to the Wall a week earlier after being evicted from a nearby encampment, activists rallied around it to call attention to the city’s ongoing practice of encampment evictions and advocating for a better solution to issues of homelessness and addiction facing the city’s Native American communities.

Minneapolis Official Speaks Out About ‘Corruption’ And ‘Useless’ City Council

As discussions over the newly instituted “strong mayor” system in Minneapolis are back in the news, local politicians, policy aides, activists, and pundits have been sharing their perspectives on the changeover. A month ago, Minneapolis City Council Member Robin Wonsley sat down with Unicorn Riot and discussed her thoughts on the government restructuring, corruption in the city and acts of political retaliation within the halls of power.

Helicopter Footage From Mass Arrest Reveals State Trooper Surveillance

Minneapolis, MN – High-tech surveillance video and audio communication from a Minnesota State Patrol helicopter, obtained and first published by Unicorn Riot, reveals some of the planning and tactics behind the largest mass arrest in recent Minnesota history. On Nov. 4, 2020, a multi-agency law enforcement operation kettled and arrested at least 646 people during a post-election-day protest calling for then-President Donald Trump to not ‘steal the vote.’ In an exclusive release, viewers are taken inside Minnesota State Patrol’s Bell 407 helicopter, N119SP, to see and hear the operations of authorities as around 700 peaceful protesters marched onto Interstate 94 in Minneapolis.

Cities And States Don’t Track Police Misconduct Payouts

Five days after the 2020 murder of George Floyd, the Minneapolis Police Department’s SWAT unit drove down Lake Street, the corridor at the heart of the civil unrest that followed. “The first f***ers we see, we’re just hammering ‘em with 40s,” Sgt. Andrew Bittell ordered his team, referring to the 40mm plastic projectiles otherwise known as rubber bullets. Around 11 p.m., that’s exactly what the squad did to a group of people in a Lake Street parking lot. Some of the plastic rounds they fired hit Jaleel Stallings. Stallings, an army veteran, returned fire with a permitted pistol at the unmarked van he thought was dispensing real bullets.

Minneapolis Community Thwarts Plans For Old Third Police Precinct Site

Minneapolis, MN — Results from the recent listening sessions hosted by the the City of Minneapolis and a consulting firm about the future location of the Minneapolis Police 3rd Precinct that was torched after George Floyd was murdered by former 3rd Precinct officer Derek Chauvin will be presented at 10 a.m. on July 18 during the Minneapolis City Council meeting. Unicorn Riot did an exclusive interview with City Council Member Robin Wonsley, the first Black democratic socialist to get elected to the Minneapolis City Council. She said Mayor Jacob Frey and his allies have conceded on the issue after community members overwhelmingly expressed opposition to bringing back the police precinct that has traumatized so many people.

The Neighborhood’s Communication Department

Minneapolis, MN — “We’re trying to be the neighborhood’s communication department,” said Duaba, Confluence Studio’s co-founder, while standing inside a shipping container-turned print shop in South Minneapolis. “We worked with neighbors,” said Confluence’s other co-founder Sam, “to collaboratively construct this idea of what a newsroom for neighbors could be.” The container was initially gifted to Confluence Studio a few years ago. Duaba and Sam, who already had a print shop, worked with the community to build the Autonomous Mobile Media Unit, or the AMMU, inside the container.

Justice Department Finds Pattern Of Discriminatory Policing In Minneapolis

The Minneapolis Police Department routinely engages in a pattern of racist and abusive behavior that deprives people of their constitutional rights, according to the findings of a Justice Department investigation prompted by the murder of George Floyd three years ago. The 89-page report, released Friday, caps an investigation launched in April 2021. It outlined four core findings: The department uses excessive force, including unjustified deadly force; it unlawfully discriminates against Black and Native American people; it violates citizens' free speech rights; and officers discriminate against people with behavioral health disabilities when responding to calls, at times causing trauma or death.

Minneapolis Continues Encampment Evictions, Displacing Hundreds In May

Minneapolis, MN — During the month of May, the City of Minneapolis has been busy evicting encampments of unhoused people, displacing hundreds and throwing away many people’s only belongings. Minneapolis Police (MPD) displaced about 80 unhoused people on East Franklin Avenue in South Minneapolis on May 10. Each week since, they’ve evicted several smaller camps erected from those displaced from the Franklin Ave. sweep, continuing a punishing and deadly cycle. “This is what he touts as his great success,” said American Indian Movement member Mike Forcia about Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and homelessness.

UN Visits Minneapolis To Investigate Human Rights After Pressure Campaign

Minneapolis, Minnesota - United Nations human rights investigators visited six U.S. cities that have been in the spotlight in recent years for police-involved killings of African Americans. The Minnesota visit comes after Twin Cities based activists organized petitions and letters to get the human rights panel to include Minneapolis in its tour. On May 2, the Urban League in North Minneapolis hosted two United Nations’ (UN) panelists and a room full of members of the Twin Cities Black American and African communities, along with the press, for a community listening session. At least 80 people were in attendance.

Minneapolis Letter Carriers Showed We’re Ready To Fight

Letter carriers got a glimpse of what a fighting strategy to win a strong contract could look like when 150 workers and supporters rallied in downtown Minneapolis April 2 under the banner “Staffing, Safety, and Service—Letter Carriers Need a Raise!” Members highlighted the root causes of the staffing crisis: mandatory overtime, pay that hasn’t kept up with inflation or with industry competitors like UPS, a toxic working environment at many stations created by bullying tactics from management, and overall poor working conditions that have led to huge attrition rates of new hires.

Police Accountability Leaders Discuss Minneapolis Policing Agreement

Minneapolis, Minnesota – A new, court-enforceable settlement agreement sets a road map for policing changes in Minneapolis, authorities said during a press conference on March 31. A week later, police accountability movement leaders held a press conference in City Hall to speak on what the agreement means to the everyday people of Minneapolis who’ve endured the violent, racist practices of the police. Speakers at the press conference included Michelle Gross, President of Communities United Against Police Brutality, Jaylani Hussein, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN), Myon Burrell, who spent 18 years incarcerated for a murder he didn’t commit...

Minneapolis Teachers Union, Cops Battle Over Student Recruitment

Minneapolis, Minnesota – A Minneapolis Public Schools teacher talked to Unicorn Riot about the Minneapolis Police Department’s (MPD) newly created PEACE Recruitment Program and the teachers union’s recent decision to oppose it. Minneapolis North High School Special Education teacher and union board member at-large Jessica Garraway brought the idea to the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT59) to oppose the MPD’s PEACE Recruitment Plan targeting high school students. She helped draft a resolution and bring it to the body for a vote. Garraway, a police abolitionist, participated in the Lake Street protests outside of the Third Precinct in the days following George Floyd’s murder by officer Derek Chauvin.

Report On Minneapolis Police Raid Of ‘Roof Depot’ Occupation

Minneapolis, Minnesota - During the February 19th-26th week of solidarity everywhere to Defend the Welaunee Forest and Stop Cop City, Minneapolis is also fighting a local and connected struggle against toxic harm in the southside East Phillips Neighborhood. The struggle centers on what is to become of the 7.7 acre lot at 28th Street and Longfellow Ave known for its most recent occupant, Roof Depot. The lot is home to the so-called “arsenic triangle” previously occupied by a pesticide manufacturer, and adjacent to existing major polluters Bituminous Roadways and Smith Foundry.

Activists Occupy Minneapolis’ Roof Depot Site To Stay Demolition

Minneapolis - East Phillips neighborhood activists, including residents of the Little Earth of United Tribes housing complex for Native Americans, snipped the fence barring public access to a city-owned vacant building Tuesday morning and set up more than a dozen tents. But by late evening, police had swarmed the site, clearing the camp, fortifying the fence and arresting at least two of the activists. The activists were protesting plans to raze the former Roof Depot warehouse and build a new Public Works facility for water maintenance staff, their equipment and vehicles that include a new diesel fuel station and roughly 800 parking spaces.

Immigrant Communities Mobilize For ‘Drivers License For All’ Bill

Minneapolis, Minnesota - Over 100 immigrants and supporters gathered at the Waite House Community Center on Saturday, January 21 to hear from grassroots leaders in the struggle to win drivers license access for all, and from elected officials that are advancing the bill in the state legislature. The event was organized by the Minnesota Immigrant Movement (MIM), a grassroots organization that’s been fighting for drivers license equality in Minnesota for many years. The Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) was also present and spoke at the event. The event, which was conducted in Spanish, started with an explanation of how the state legislative process works. The drivers license bill needs to pass through several committees in both the state House and Senate, then to a vote of the full House and Senate. After reconciling any differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill, it goes to the governor to approve it or veto it.
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