Minneapolis, MN – Nearly 100 people gathered in George Floyd Square (GFS) to commemorate Malcolm X on the 56th anniversary of his assassination. An event organized by the community at GFS featured a vigil for Malcolm X, a discussion on Black liberation movements of past and present, broom ball, an exhibit for arctic explorer Matthew Henson, and food from the community kitchen.
Unicorn Riot streamed live for nearly two hours of the discussion portion during the Malcolm X commemoration and took a brief tour of the space which had been held for nearly 9 months at that time.
The events on Sunday, February 21, 2021, exemplified the loving and participatory community at GFS that has grown since the tragic police killing of George Floyd. Laughter filled the streets as families with children, young adults, and elders played and talked.
Barricades at GFS block traffic flow at four intersections to keep the sacred space honoring George Floyd safe. Daily meetings and hundreds of public gatherings, rallies and other events have been held in the Square. The square features a network of mutual aid initiatives that distribute food and supplies to community members and the unhoused.
“Malcolm X said this: ‘The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.’ And we prepare for it by making sure that everybody got what they need.“– Participant in the discussion
On 38th Street near the west barricade, dozens of participants of the Malcolm X commemoration placed flowers on top of circles that were colored red, black, green, and yellow and placed in the form of a large ‘X’.
“The people of George Floyd Square have proved time and time again that the power of care and defense will never come from the politicians and systems that exploit and oppress Black communities. We know how to take care of each other and we don’t need anyone to tell us how to protect and sustain ourselves. This community has done it every day and we aren’t going anywhere!“– Facebook language on Malcolm X event posted by GFS
A lengthy discussion on Malcolm X, Black radicalism, liberation, Martin Luther King Jr, diluted messages, capitalism, and narratives was held at the reclaimed ‘People’s Way’ on 38th Street and Chicago Avenue just feet away from the ‘X’ flower vigil.
Food and produce was boxed up by the “Fuck 12 Community Kitchen” and handed out to people.
Near the south barricade of GFS, at Phelps Park, was the “GFS Liberation Loppet”, honoring Matthew Henson, a Black man who was the first human in recorded history to reach the North Pole. This activity featured sledding, skiing, and an afternoon of broomball games held in the parking lot of the church that sits at 38th and Chicago.
The day before, on February 20, a press conference held by Malcolm X daughters shone a new light onto whom they believe was responsible for their fathers death. They presented a letter they claim was written and sent by known under-cover NYPD officer Raymond Wood to his cousin Reggie Wood.
In the letter, Raymond admits to acting in an undercover capacity to entrap and arrest the security detail for Malcolm X on a separate charge so that X would not be protected the day he was killed in the Audobon Ballroom on February 21, 1965.
As the Twin Cities metro area braces for the trial of Derek Chauvin, the City of Minneapolis says that it plans to open up traffic through the semi-autonomous George Floyd Square. Meanwhile, the community inside GFS is poised to defend the space until their 24 demands called the Justice Resolution are met.
Continue to follow Unicorn Riot for more on GFS, George Floyd, and the Derek Chauvin trial.
Unicorn Riot's George Floyd Coverage:
- George Floyd Uprising – Reporter Reflection [5 Episode Series] - Fall 2020
- Beyond the Barricades: A Look At George Floyd Square [Mini-Doc - March 2021]
- Two Years After George Floyd - May 27, 2022
- One Year After George Floyd in Europe: Afro-Greeks and African Migrants Speak Out [Videos] - February 17, 2022
- Judge Cahill’s No-Knock Warrant Led to MPD Execution of Amir Locke - February 8, 2022
- Caravan for George Floyd as Federal Trial Begins for Officers Lane, Kueng, and Thao - January 22, 2022
- One Year After George Floyd in Europe: The Deep Roots of Racism in Germany [Video] - October 11, 2021
- Minneapolis Pushes Activists to Their Limits - July 22, 2021
- Ex-Cop Derek Chauvin Sentenced to 22.5 Years for George Floyd Murder - June 25, 2021
- Community Gathers at George Floyd Square After City Removes Concrete Barriers - June 3, 2021
- The State’s Conviction of Chauvin Upholds the System’s ‘Innocence’ - April 25, 2021
- Derek Chauvin Found Guilty in Murder of George Floyd - April 22, 2021
- Derek Chauvin Trial Coverage Landing Page - 2021
- George Floyd Square Celebrates Malcolm X - March 2, 2021
- Jay Kolls: False Reporting From George Floyd Square to D.C. - January 23, 2021
- Minneapolis Police Violently Assault Man Yards From George Floyd Memorial - December 23, 2020
- Behind the Law Enforcement Response to the George Floyd Uprising – Pt 1: Munitions Delivery - December 3, 2020
- Pawn Shop Owner Faces No Charges in Killing Man, State Blames Protesters - November 8, 2020
- Feds Leverage Civil Disorder Charge Against George Floyd Protester - November 1, 2020
- Minneapolis Protest Art Collection Becomes Largest of its Kind - October 28, 2020
- Chauvin Has 3rd Degree Murder Charge Dropped, 2nd Degree Charges Upheld - October 23, 2020
- Youth Lead March After Ex-Cop Charged in Floyd’s Murder Bailed Out - October 14, 2020
- Ex-Cop Charged in George Floyd Murder Out On $1M Bail, Dozens Arrested in Protest - October 7, 2020
- Pretrial Begins: County Attorney Freeman Pulled from George Floyd Police Prosecutions - September 14, 2020
- “No Justice, No Street" – Community Makes Demands, Eviction of George Floyd Memorial Square Delayed - August 17, 2020
- George Floyd Uprising in Minneapolis–Saint Paul — The First Two Weeks - June 14, 2020
- Denver Police Served Temporary Restraining Order Amid Nationwide Protest Repression - June 11, 2020
- Nine Council Members Vow to Disband Minneapolis Police - June 10, 2020
- Rally and March to Defund MPD after George Floyd: Day 12 - June 6, 2020
- George Floyd Memorial Service in Minneapolis - June 4, 2020
- Action at WCCO to End Media Bias Against Victims of Police Violence: Day 9 - June 3, 2020
- Owner Assaulted by Troopers While Protecting His Business - June 2, 2020
- Minneapolis Protests Police Murder of George Floyd: Day 7 - June 1, 2020
- New Footage Reveals Moments Before George Floyd’s Death - May 30, 2020
- Twin Cities Protest Death of George Floyd: Day 3 - May 28, 2020
- Minneapolis Protests Police Murder of George Floyd: Day 2 - May 27, 2020
- Minneapolis Police Murder Handcuffed Man With Neck-Kneel - May 26, 2020