George Floyd Square, the area of Minneapolis where George Floyd died last May while in the custody of Minneapolis police, has become a “cop-free” “autonomous zone,” now also has special rules for white people who turn up to honor Floyd by visiting his makeshift memorial.
A sign near the entrance to the “autonomous zone” calls the area a “Sacred Space for Community, Public Grief, and Protest,” according to Fox News reporter Matt Finn, who took a photo of the flier listing guidelines for visitors. The sign “urges visitors to ‘honor the space as a place to connect and grieve as caring humans,'” but notes that white people visiting the memorial should abide by a more restrictive set of rules.
White people are asked to “decenter” and “come to listen, learn, mourn, and witness.”
“Remember you are here to support, not to be supported,” the sign says.
Additionally, white people must “contribute to the energy of the space, rather than drain it” and bring their own “processing” to “other white folk” so as not to further endanger or “harm BIPOC.” They must also “be mindful” of whether their “volume, pace, and movements” are “undermining” their efforts to “decentralize.”
The sign advises against taking photos — a restriction that has popped up at other anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests, particularly where “anti-fascist” protesters are involved — and suggests that white people police other white people who may be causing problems and “engage rather than escalate” so that George Floyd Square “can be a learning moment rather than a disruption.”
The George Floyd Square “autonomous zone” is delineated with concrete barricades. It cropped up last year following Floyd’s death but came back to life just as jury selection was beginning in the trial of Derek Chauvin who, on Tuesday, was found guilty of killing Floyd.
“The intersection of E. 38th Street and Chicago Avenue — where a bystander recorded the viral video that showed ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knee into on Floyd’s neck on May 25, 2020 — was first converted into a memorial and renamed George Floyd Square after his death,” Fox News reported. “But concrete barricades set up by the city last year to protect demonstrators from traffic now act as the barriers to an ‘autonomous zone’ co-opted by armed individuals declaring law enforcement are unwelcome, as gang activity, drug dealing, and gun violence disrupt local business operations.”
As The Daily Wire previously reported, residents and business owners in the largely minority neighborhood, begged the Minneapolis city government for help in controlling the autonomous zone, which they say is patrolled by “guardians” who have turned the neighborhood into a “war zone.”
“As neighbors of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, also known as George Floyd Square or the autonomous zone, we are witnessing a revolution by day and a devolution by night,” a neighborhood group told CNN. “Prayer gatherings canceled. Rallies canceled. Visitors arriving with flowers in hand, only to retreat to their cars when greeted by the sound of gunshots. Neighbors ducking for cover behind our houses, children in tow.”
Minneapolis recently approved a $1 billion bailout for businesses affected by violence in the “autonomous zone,” according to Fox Business, and warned out-of-towners to stay out of George Floyd Square. The city, though, refused to dismantle the ongoing protest until after Chauvin’s trial concluded. Instead, to ensure residents’ and business owners’ safety, the FBI moved in to help Minneapolis Police monitor the zone, per Fox News.