US UpdateAFP via Getty Images

 

Like you, our team is increasingly concerned that outbreaks of violence across the United States could escalate as the U.S. presidential election approaches in November. Building unarmed civilian protection (UCP) skills is vital during this time of national unrest, especially with so many potential flash points for violence, which might include: continued police brutality, unfavorable election results, election delays, accusations of election tampering, provocation by white supremacists, unfavorable court decisions, violence during demonstrations advocating for racial justice and further incursion of federal forces in cities across the country. 
 
In response, we have formed a team of our experienced staff who are currently exploring possibilities of helpful roles NP could play in Minneapolis and throughout the U.S. We are committed to supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and Black-led organizations as they lead the effort to stop state-sanctioned violence and create a just, anti-racist, anti-colonialist society, where every Black person has the social, economic, and political power to thrive.
 
So far, our team in the U.S. is focusing on two key areas: 1) training a cohort of unarmed safety and security specialists to replace the Minneapolis Police in Minneapolis public schools and 2) training city-based teams across the country in unarmed civilian protection methodologies, focusing on demonstrations for racial justice and situations involving state-armed actors and state-sanctioned violence. The first of these training session have been scheduled in Minneapolis, MN and Fargo, ND and will target more cities in the coming months.
 
We look forward to providing you with further updates soon. 
 

As many of you know, on May 25, 2020 George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer in the city adjacent to our US headquarters. 

 

1Memorial at the corner of 38th and Chicago at the site of the murder
Photo: Marna Anderson (NP)

 

As members of the Twin Cities community confront their grief and the conditions that led to Floyd’s murder, now is a time for all of us to be actively anti-racist. 

 

gf2Thousands of people are leaving flowers and signs to express their anger and pain
Photo: Marna Anderson (NP)

 

In keeping with one of our guiding principles of Primacy of the Local Actor, Nonviolent Peaceforce staff is in conversation with city and community leaders about how we can best be a resource.  

 

gf3Moment of silence at a protest in front of the Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis on May 28
Photo: Karen Kraco

 

We have seen police employ tear gas, rubber bullets, and force on peaceful demonstrators. The use and encouragement of police force against civilians highlights the need for civilian protection at protests.

 

gf4Protester in downtown Minneapolis
Photo: Karen Kraco

 

So many are questioning the status quo. “What might it look like if we addressed our communities’ needs as neighbors and creative problem solvers instead of relying on force and imprisonment?” The need for nonviolent community protection is clear.

 

gf5One of the many community organizations or small businesses offering food to protesters at the intersection of 38th and Chicago
Photo: Marna Anderson (NP)

 

In the face of a militarized police force, we remain grounded in active nonviolence and anti-racism as we continue to protect and advocate for civilians in our communities. 

 

gf6Protesters at a march downtown Minneapolis
Photo: Karen Kraco

 

We stand for peace, not just for quiet.

We stand for local, civilian voices.

We stand against violence in its many forms.

These are tough times for our community in Minnesota, across the US, and around the world. As always, we are committed to listening and finding where we can best put our resources. We look forward to sharing more with you all as we continue to work with the Minneapolis community.

 

 
 
200527032814 02 minneapolis protests super teasePhoto: Stephen Maturen
 
The tragedy and turmoil in Minneapolis this week coincides with international protection of civilians week. Civilians must be protected.
Although we do not have a field office in the US, NP is a part of a large network of people working on unarmed and nonviolent civilian protection around the world—including in the US. In addition to joining in the street protests, we are talking with community leaders about how we can be a resource at this time. This is a time for all of us to be actively anti-racist.
Especially when the news seems all bad, we are grounded in nonviolence and listening to local voices. We remind you that nonviolence is not passive. On the contrary - it is an extremely active verb.
 
 
Ways to take action now
 
 Call and email decision-makers to let them know "The officers involved should be arrested for murder and jailed immediately."
 
  • Minneapolis Mayor, Jacob Frey 612-673-3000
  • County Attorney Mike Freeman, 612-348-5550, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Minneapolis Police Union, 612-788-8444
  • Minneapolis Police Department of Internal Affairs, 612-673-3074
  • Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension 651-793-7000
 
 
 
 
 
@segyrella

rest in power. ##blacklivesmatter ##georgefloyd ##minnesota ##minneapolis ##fy ##police

♬ My Tears Are Becoming A Sea - M83