Posted on March 25, 2022

George Floyd Square

Thomas Jackson, American Renaissance, March 25, 2022

George Floyd died at the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis. At the time, it was one of the busier junctions in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood. Since then, it has become an “autonomous zone” like the more famous one in Seattle. Unlike “CHAZ,” this experiment in anarchy has not been shut down.

Large black fists mark the four entrances to the square. The fists are “wrapped” to protect them from Minnesota’s harsh winters.

Entrance to George Floyd Square

Another fist stands at the mid-point of 38th and Chicago, creating a roundabout.

George Floyd Roundabout

Before the riots, there was a gas station/convenience store on one corner. After rioters wrecked it, it became the HQ of the square. There are occasional meetings at this set of benches.

HQ of George Floyd Square

Here is wood for the firepit in the middle of the benches. In the background, you can see that the marquee for “Speedway” now says “People’s Way.”

Gas Station at George Floyd Square

There is an events calendar on one of the gas pumps:

Calendar at George Floyd Square

There is a piano and  flowers.

Piano at George Floyd Square

It seems there were plans to turn part of the parking lot into a community garden, but with little success.

Community Garden at George Floyd Square

This is a sacred space.

Caring for the Memorials at George Floyd Square

In the parking lot is a small shed full of books.

Book Shelf at George Floyd Square

Instead of the leftist tracts I expected, the books are mostly for children.

Books of the Book Shed

City buses no longer go through this area, so all the bus shelters have been repurposed.

George Floyd Square Community Info

These two offer free clothes.

Clothes Bus Shelters

However, it seems that some people just dump junk here, such as this  piano.

BLM Bus Shelter

This box contains clothes, but also cigarette butts.

Free Clothes at George Floyd Square

I don’t know if this repurposed shelter ever lived up to its promise.

Video Booth Tell Your Own Story

It doesn’t now. Here’s the inside.

Former Video Booth at George Floyd Square

The whole area is covered in graffiti, murals, signs, and stickers.

Winston Smith was Assassinated

This is not a reference to 1984, but to Winston Boogie Smith, a black criminal who died resisting arrest in Minneapolis in 2021.

Black People Have Been Robbed

Kapital Bra

The website this sticker promotes is a Marxist German clothing store. Despite its fondness for the hammer and sickle, it’s pricey.

Nice Graffiti in George Floyd Square

Note the clever message on the sidewalk.

Fuck the Pol(ice)

The black archer in this mural wears a mask against COVID. It’s not clear what he’s shooting at.

Archer Mural

Ugly Mural with Phoenix

Malcolm X Quote at George Floyd Square

Peoples Way George Floyd Square

Larry Memorial

Locals told me “Larry” was a black man who died of a drug overdose at the square.

Listing the Dead at George Floyd Square

This is a list of martyrs killed by police. Even in person, it’s hard to read.

Voting with a Criminal Record

Death to Fascism and the Liberalism that Enables It

Da Battle Rages On!!!

I Can't Breathe at George Floyd Square

You Changed the World George Floyd

All Cops are Derek Chauvin

We recognize Angela Davis, Marcus Garvey, and Malcolm X (at the far left), and Huey Newton (wearing a beret), but who are the other two?

Angela Davis Mural

The top sticker is an appropriation of Frog and Toad from the beloved children’s book of that name. The bottom sticker is sold by a German anarchist record label.

Eat Nazis Now Fuck the Police

Cup Foods, the business that called the cops on George Floyd for trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill, is still open.

Cup Foods Stop the Violence

All this is in front of it.

This Is a Sacred Space

Listen to the Mothers

Clutter In Front of Cup Foods

The store is run by Muslims.

Cup Foods is Muslim

Cup Foods was not burned in the riots, even though staff called the police when Floyd tried to stiff them with a fake $20 bill. Why was it spared? Perhaps because it is run by tough Middle-Easterners who would probably have defended their property. It’s in the middle of a “food desert,” so it does a brisk business.

Otherwise, George Floyd Square is dirty and dangerous. Most businesses in the area, black-owned and otherwise, struggle to stay open in a chaotic environment with limited police protection. Last year, local media reported around the square: “In 2019, there were 33 [shot spotter] rounds detected. In 2020, last year, there were 185 activations with over 700 rounds detected, [Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria] Arradondo said.” Just last Saturday, at least two people were shot at the square when “an interaction between two vehicles escalated into gunfire.”

In 2020, the state set new records for murders and assaults on police officers, and in Minneapolis there is now more than one carjacking every day.

When civilization will return is anyone’s guess.