A trip to Minneapolis allowed us to see George Floyd Square, an urban autonomous zone parallel to Seattle’s CHAZ or “Free Derry” from the early 1970s. It is centered on the intersection of Chicago Ave. and E. 38th St., the spot where suspect George Floyd died while being subdued by Officer Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis Police, the spark for last summer’s unrest.
The four approaches to the intersection, indicated by yellow squares on the map, mark the boundaries of what the residents are proud to call Independent Republic of George Floyd. On the street they’re marked by sculptures of upraised fists. There is also one at the intersection itself.
I was pleased to see the appearance of the Pan-African Flag. In the background of the photo, on the northeast corner of the intersection, you can see the famous Cup Foods, where George Floyd allegedly tried to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. On the street in front of the store, is a sectioned-off memorial to which no single photo can do justice.
Other sorts of artwork, decorations, graffiti, chalkings, flags, and what not may be seen throughout the area. The locals actively patrol it, directing traffic and permitting (or forbidding) people from entering – in addition, it seems, to smoking lots of marijuana.
Whatever the politics, there is something deeply appealing to these sorts of impromptu and authentic demonstrations.