Cover photo from Minneapolis protest on Wednesday by Evan Frost
“Repression and Resistance” is a column from Tribune of the People that highlights rebellions and repression happening in protests across the US each week. If you want us to cover a protest happening in your city, please send us a pitch.
On Wednesday night, hundreds took to the streets of downtown Minneapolis after officials announced that Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who (along with three other officers) killed George Floyd in May, was released from jail after posting $1 million bond. Protesters marched to the Minneapolis Police Department and faced off with officers before fireworks were thrown at the precinct and police arrested 51.
The lawyers for Chauvin and the other officers have been petitioning to move the trials outside of Minneapolis in a desperate attempt to escape the fury from the people of Minneapolis which first sparked the nationwide May Uprisings.
Not far from Kenosha, where protests erupted in August in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake, the people rose up in Milwaukee this week after District Attorney John Chisholm announced that Joseph Mensah, the police officer who shot and killed teenager Alvin Cole in February, would not be prosecuted.
Alvin’s sister Taleavia called Chisholm “a fraud” and said that the protests would not stop until Mensah was fired. On Wednesday night, Highway I-794 was taken, storefront windows were smashed, and goods were expropriated. Late Thursday there were reports that Alvin’s mother and two sisters had been arrested as protests continued.
Los Angeles, CA
On Monday night, protesters took to the streets in Los Angeles in solidarity with those demanding justice for Jonathan Price in Texas. Anti-police graffiti was painted, windows were smashed, and anti-protester fencing was torn from its foundations.
Wolfe City officials announced Thursday that police officer Shaun Lucas, who had shot and killed Jonathan Price, had been fired. The continuing protests around the country show that this small punishment does not come close to satisfying the terms of people’s justice.
The day before former officer Lucas killed Jonathan Price, protesters gathered in front of Dallas Police Headquarters to commemorate the lives that had been taken by police in recent history. At some point during the night, red hand prints, anti-police graffiti, and chalk art were left on the entrance.
In continuing protests seeking people’s justice for Daniel Prude, killed by Rochester police earlier this year, over one hundred people marched on District Attorney Sandra Doorley’s home, calling for her to resign. Protesters have previously put up “wanted” signs on City Hall for Doorley and other officials like Mayor Lovely Warren, who was indicted on felony charges this week relating to campaign finance violations.
Kansas City, MO
The disturbing video of police brutally arresting Deja Stallings, a young pregnant Black woman, has spurred a week-long occupation of the local city hall demanding Police Chief Richard Smith resign. In a cowardly maneuver, a police spokesman has also said that the Kansas City Police Department does not plan on disciplining the officers involved in the incident or revealing their names to the public.
The nightly protests that have carried on in Portland since the start of the May Uprisings expanded this week to take up eviction defense in addition to the fight for Black lives. On Wednesday night more than 50 people mobilized to help protect a family that was facing eviction. As in other parts of the country, landlords have violated eviction moratoriums in Portland, unable to stop their parasitic compulsion of feeding off the working class.
Also this week, a report based on public information requests revealed that the FBI had sent its elite counterterrorism unit the “Fly Team” to spy on “left-wing” protesters in Portland on at least one occasion over the summer.
After months of protests since the May Uprising, the city of Kalamazoo is seeking a third-party to reform its police department under the pretense of ensuring “accountability.” Similar to how a former police chief was brought in to act as an “independent” consultant on the shooting of Jacob Blake case, the ruling class is fundamentally uninterested in the demands of the people, preferring instead to rely on its trusted servants to make it appear as if society is changing. Reforming the police only further justifies their existence and by extension that of class exploitation.
Detectives Mark Janowski and Christopher Brown were indicted by a grand jury this week for charges relating to acts of police brutality carried out during the May Uprisings, although the exact charges have not been made public. The department has not fired the officers and only put them on administrative assignment until the trial is resolved. It is rare for police officers to be indicted for use of force, but it is even more unlikely that they will be convicted.
Reactionary Michael Cremen, who terrorized protesters at least once over the summer, did not appear for his court date after having been charged with a hate crime. Cremen, who was caught on video wielding a knife and yelling racial slurs at a march in August, is believed to have sent an email to the court threatening anyone who comes to arrest him for contempt of court with violence.
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