First: An eyewitness report from trusted synagogue member in Mpls; Second: a journalist's report
On Friday EVERY BUSINESS on Lake Street and adjoining commercial districts, was boarded up.
Many spray painted murals on the plywood - let folks know they were a local or minority owned business. Essential businesses.
Last night was by far the worst night. Protests during the day were peaceful. There was an 8:00pm curfew. Everything changed when the sun went down. There are roving and highly organized bands of anti-government neo-nazi white men cruising the city, breaking off plywood, looting stores, and then setting fire to the buildings.
On the Northside, which is predominately African American, the situation was much the same. Local civic groups were trying to protect local businesses and homes. there were many fires.
The violence and destruction is NOT being driven by local people. The cars on the streets have either removed their license plates, or have out of state plates.
Here is a post from a neighbor, "Everybody! We need to get our heads around what’s happening, Mpls and St Paul are being attacked by fascist “accelerationist” white crazies. Trying to divide & destroy us.
Accelerationism: the idea inspiring white supremacist killers around the world -Vox"
Expect these same types to infiltrate all of the legitimate protests happening in other cities in America. We are fighting an enemy within.
These "accelerationists" burned down the 5th Police Precinct, our post office, every pharmacy. The Wallgreens and CVS within a few blocks of our house are still burning this morning. The grocery stores were all hit. Every bank has been hit. Every liquor store, every gas station. They have guns and accelerants.
When National Guard show up, they disappear into the neighborhoods and have been setting fires. It is a violent game of arsonist wack-a-mole. There is no longer any fire fighting service available - overwhelmed. So neighbors are using garden hoses to put out the fires and save homes. Pictures neighbors are sharing - these are young white men, heavily armed.
According to authorities there are over 10,000 of these "accelerationists" in the city. St. Paul arrested over 50 people last night. ALL OF THEM were from out of state. The authorities are checking phones of the people they have arrested, doing contact tracing of sorts on these people. These people are connected to right wing militia style groups with a civil/race war fantasy. They are opportunistically using the legitimate, peaceful George Floyd protests as a cover to actualize their neo-nazi fever dream.
Gov. Walz just said, "If you know where these people are sleeping today, let us know and we will execute warrants. “ Xxxxx and I were helping the owner of a commercial building up the street - a friend, and two of these guys came up to us. Wanted to know where the free food was being distributed. He gave them an address that was three blocks away. Had no idea what we were talking about - not from here.
[Xxxxx], the girls and I are fine and safe. Exhausted. Angry. We have not really slept in three days. Everyone in Minneapolis/St. Paul is the same.
So, what to do? Our neighborhood group is meeting at the park this afternoon. I think that they will organize our neighborhood watch to patrol, try to spot fires and get them out ASAP.
Major protests are planned for today. They want the other three police officers involved in George Floyd's murder arrested, they want the MN Attorney General, not the Hennepin County Attorney to manage the case. They want the MPD disbanded and reformed with many alternative public safety and law enforcement strategies used. But the legitimate protests will end at 8:00 pm.
The Gov. and the mayor are calling in thousands more National Guard Troops. We already had more National Guard troops in the city than ever before. They are doing a good job but were overwhelmed last night by sheer numbers. Gov. Walz is the highest ranking soldier to have ever served in Congress and led the National Guard - he clearly sees this for what it is and will fight it. This is now a military operation by the State of Minnesota against alt-right, white nationalists and anarchists that have come into Minneapolis to use the protests against police brutality as cover for their death fantasy.
They are trying to force authorities to use deadly force and "accelerate" the violence.
It is dark friends.
The other side - this morning the neighborhood is out in force helping with the clean up, re-securing businesses. Massive food distribution at community centers. People taking in neighbors whose homes were destroyed or whose neighborhood was so impacted that it is no longer habitable. Allie was ion contact with students, many of whom are refugees from war torn countries, that were hearing explosions and fire and sirens - they were calling her to make sure she was okay.
Today I will garden. My flowers are starting to really come into bloom. Vegetables coming in strong. New raised bed being built. Eat some good food. Feel grateful. Train our new puppy Ruth, who is just a pip. Take her to the lake and give her a swimming lesson. Then I'll take a nap. I think tonight will be a long one."
Far-Right Extremists Are Hoping to Turn the George Floyd Protests Into a New Civil War
Armed extremists are showing up to protests and urging a "boogaloo" — code for civil war — online.
by Tess Owen
May 29 2020, 5:57pm
Far-right extremists are showing up, with guns, to the protests against police brutality that have exploded across the country.
Others are egging on the violence from behind their computers, urging followers to carry out acts of violence against black protesters with the goal of sparking a “race war.”
Their presence makes an uneasy addition to the escalating unrest, which was triggered by the death of George Floyd, a black man who was choked to death by a white Minneapolis police officer earlier this week.
But there’s a range of motivations that’s driving far-right interest toward the protests, which are being led by community members and Black Lives Matter, and bolstered by antifascists.
For example, the so-called Boogaloo Bois — a group of armed anti-government extremists made visible by their Hawaiian shirts — have reportedly shown up to some of the protests.
The “boogaloo” is code for impending civil war or violent confrontation with law enforcement, and that’s what they’re hoping to get out of the protests. Their main reason for being there is their antipathy toward law enforcement, and so they’re trying to position themselves as allies of Black Lives Matter protesters. They’ve made police brutality one of their central issues, which was explored at length in a Bellingcat article this week.
Their approach to police brutality links the victims of the deadly standoff with federal agents at Ruby Ridge in 1992, to the victims of modern police brutality, including Floyd. But unlike the vast majority of protesters, they refuse to acknowledge the fact that police brutality is an issue that disproportionately impacts people of color.
There have been scattered reports of Boogaloo Bois’ presence at the protests, which were compiled by a Bellingcat investigative journalist in a thread. He includes an audio clip (stripped of video per activists’ requests) of protesters saying they’d wrestled a handgun from a “white nationalist” agitator — whom he describes as a Boogaloo Boi who became overly rowdy.
Another photo, shared across private Boogaloo Facebook pages, showed one of their own unfurling their trademark flag during the Minneapolis protests.
And one protester posted a picture of himself wearing a gas mask to Instagram, under the hashtag #Boogaloo.
While some Boogaloo Bois say they’re just libertarians, others will, on occasion, veer into racism — and make no secret of their desire for violence. In addition to their physical presence at the protests, the #boogaloo hashtag on social media has been flooded with memes in the last couple days egging on violence, and talking about how they hope this is the beginning of a civil war.
While more established militia types sometimes share those perspectives, they often view themselves as intermediaries between law enforcement and civilians. For example, two armed white men were interviewed by the Minnesota Reformer, a local independent news organization, outside a tobacco store in Minneapolis this week. They said they were protecting businesses from looters, but were also there to defend civilians should they need to.
“Cops are less likely to tread on people’s rights when there’s other armed people around them,” one of the men told the interviewer.
Local activists identified another group in Minneapolis as members of the III% militia, one of the largest militia networks in the U.S.
But perhaps the most troubling of all are the hardcore “accelerationists” who are encouraging their neo-Nazi followers to go to the protests and carry out acts of violence against black people — all with the goal of “exacerbating the ethnic tensions” and sparking a “race war.”
Accelerationists promote violence to speed up the collapse of society. An eco-fascist Telegram channel wrote to its nearly 2,500 subscribers on Thursday that “a riot would be the perfect place to commit a murder.” Accelerationists often seek to exploit moments of political or civil unrest, and the widespread protests that have unfolded across the country fit the bill. Similarly, 4chan is full of racists cheering the violence and saying that they hope it’s the beginning of a “race war.”