Linden Gawboy came to the July 31st SayHerName march in Downtown Minneapolis to cause a disruption. Gawboy, and approximately 200 others, were gathered to march in solidarity with black women killed in police custody.
“I think the power is standing up in the face of the cops, blocking the streets, willfully getting out there and causing a disruption because of the disruption that this system has caused to our community’s lives for centuries. And knowing that when we get together and we stand strong, we are strong,” said Gawboy, a member of the Welfare Rights Committee.
The “SayHerName: Solidarity Action” was hosted by the Black Liberation Project. Marchers stopped in several intersections, holding up the LRT and traffic.
“I just felt like I needed to stand in solidarity with SayHerName because I’ve read so many articles saying that the killing of black women and black trans women have been really poorly attended and I really wanted to be out there as a black woman especially,” said Rachael Goins.
Symbols of Oppression & Brutality
Organizers began the march by asking black women to step forward and lead the march saying, “I do not want you guys to overstep them. I do not want you to silence them.” These black women carried plastic nooses made from police tape. Marchers also carried an upside-down flag, which had the names of victims of police brutality written on it.
The protest frustrated some commuters. Drivers on Hennepin Ave. honked their horns and often shouted at the ralliers. Community members also questioned its effectiveness.
“In the end are we actually or should we actually be asking for more equal rights as a population or should we be asking for our independence from this government and the processes in this system that does not work in our favor,” said Lenell McKenzie, a member of SIMBA (Sovereignty and Immunity for Multi-ethnic Black Americans).
Following the rally, the Black Liberation Project issued a list of demands they will be acting around in the future. Demands include requiring all Minneapolis Police Department officers to live within Minneapolis city limits and the specific jurisdiction they work within. They are also demanding that the Minneapolis Police Department require their offices to attend a variety of competency trainings around mental illness, immigration, and low-income communities.