Minneapolis, MN – A large coalition of organizations and community members defied frigid temperatures for the Justice 4 Jamar Unity Rally/March on Saturday, December 19, 2015 shortly after noon.
The rally and march was the latest in a series of community events in response to Jamar Clark’s ‘execution’ by the Minneapolis Police, which led to 18 days of the #4thPrecinctShutDown. Almost five weeks after Jamar’s murder the Twin Cities Coalition 4 Justice 4 Jamar organized a march starting at the 4th Precinct on Plymouth Avenue in North Minneapolis.
During the opening rally, Michael McDowell from Black Lives Matter Minneapolis provided some context to the crowd of hundreds:
“When the people stand up then you will have justice! Justice doesn’t come just because you call for it, it comes when you struggle for it, when you fight for it. Power concedes nothing without a demand.” – Brian Herron
Pastor Brian Herron then gave a passionate speech about working together and how change has already been made in the context of the protests at the precinct:
After rallying at the precinct protesters marched towards downtown, stopping at four places: the location where Jamar Clark was shot and killed; the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC) i.e. garbage incinerator; the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center; and the Hennepin County Government Center.
The stop at the Covanta run garbage burning center intentionally connected the unity rally/march to environmental justice. The HERC incinerator operates upwind from residential areas nearby, and was also a source of controversy for the firewood being burnt during the #4thPrecinctShutDown. Advocate Roxanne O’Brien made a speech about the realities that people of color face in regards to environmental justice:
“This community is being forced to take on the overburdening of forty-four other cities’ trash and hazardous materials. … North Minneapolis zip codes 55411 and 55412 have five times the amount of asthma-related hospitalization rates than the rest of the metro area, and six times as much as the entire state.” – Roxanne O’Brien
Protesters wound through downtown Minneapolis on their way to the Government Center Plaza. A stop was made at the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center where one speaker reminded the crowd of the violence visited upon black cis- and transgender women by police, inspiring chants of #SayHerName.
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) December 19, 2015
The march ended at the Hennepin County Government Center where the crowd continually expressed their desire to “prosecute the police” and to “say no to a grand jury”. Speakers included economic and welfare rights activists, clergy, students, and union members, as well as the IWW African Peoples’ Caucus and the Twin Cities General Defense Committee who spoke of the importance of community self-defense and an upcoming CopWatch training on Tuesday, December 22nd.
The organized march combined different circles of organizations and communities in the fight for justice for Jamar and for the victims of the white supremacist shootings. Mel Reeves describes the coalition here:
Family members surviving the victims of several local police killings (Jamar Clark, Michael Kirvelay, Marcus Golden, Phillip Quinn) were along on the march. Here is what they said to the crowd during the rally points:
Here is the full VIDEO from the rally & march:
For more of our reports on the protests surrounding the death of Jamar Clark, here are the links:
Police Precinct Occupied after Jamar Clark is ‘Executed’ while Handcuffed
#Justice4Jamar Camp Expands; Minneapolis Residents Block I-94; Unicorn Riot Reporter & 40+ Others Arrested
Minneapolis Police Try to Crush #Justice4Jamar Camp; Community Resists
White Supremacists Shoot Five Protesters and MPD Attacks #Justice4Jamar Crowd
“Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes”: White Supremacists Arrested for Shootings
#Justice4Jamar Assailants Net Minor Charges; Camp Braces for Police Action
8 Arrests Made as #4thPrecinctShutDown Eradicated in Early Morning Raid
#BlongNBetsysFortress: Minneapolis Residents Show Up to Defeat $605K Payday for 4th Pct