By Kyle Rosse
In their second week, the Austin protests in solidarity with the people of Minneapolis against the police murder of George Floyd have continued to surround APD headquarters and repeatedly disrupt traffic downtown and on I-35, the highway that connects Austin to Minneapolis which runs like a scar through the cities.
Police have been forced to fortify their position due to the constant pressure of the protests. APD has installed a LRAD sound cannon at the top of the headquarters and has surveyed the antagonistic crowds with drones that can be heard from the ground. A police helicopter put a spotlight on protesters Saturday night when they took the highway and a loud speaker instructed them to get off “for their own safety.”
These measures have not intimidated protesters. One young Black woman told Tribune that the oppression of Black people has been going on for hundreds of years and she finally wants to see an end to it. When the protest turned into a march through downtown on Saturday, many people at home or at work stepped outside to raise their fists and cheer. When protesters took the highway, many of those in stopped vehicles honked their horns in solidarity.
The protests, while smaller than the initial weekend of the uprising, have become more organized. Medics have set up tents under the highway where they are ready to distribute supplies. Bad elements, like fascist Christopher Ritchie and a ruling class media journalist who wouldn’t stop doing close-ups on activist faces, were expelled from the crowd at different points in time.
The spirit of “No Justice! No Peace!” remains alive and well in Austin.