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George Floyd Square one year later: Grief and hope | Black Life Essential Issues

Minneapolis, Minnesota, US – At low humidity, on a hot summer day in Minnesotan, George Floyd Square is packed with locals and tourists from all over the area. We have come here just to mourn for Floyd to give by a police officer in Minneapolis last year today, as well as celebrating his life.

“We were invited by one of those who arranged for us to be here to celebrate George’s life,” John Williams, director of the Center for Racial Reconciliation at Fellowship Church in Monrovia, California, told Al Jazeera.

“Celebrations for me are a reminder that his life is not going to be erased so that what happened is not ruined,” said Williams, who came to Minneapolis with members of his church to be at the center of what happened last year. “This is the first time that, nationally, the police have been prosecuted, but in reality there is no real justice. George does not exist. ”

I feel sorry for the middle of the crowd as people kneel in silence in front of Floyd who stood outside the Cup Foods where he allegedly tried to spend a fake $ 20 which, a few minutes later, cost him his life, the stadium still has power over him.

Events in George Floyd Square on the anniversary of his death, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 25, 2021 [Cinnamon Janzer/Al Jazeera]

A wide variety of music fills the atmosphere, from R&B and jazz to the edge of the monument to local folklore. Safe steam grills for lunch in the sky like drops of splash of water that live near the shadow that became part of the battle that moves children with Super Soaker.

Tents that cater to everything – from the deep crowd to lemons – set up on the edge of the arena as the boiling machine fills the air with lines of soap that Amira, four, swims in, wearing beautiful pink clothes to match the heat of the day.

He and his father, Shaun, live a short distance away and stand at the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue all over the world. counting and racial injustice and police violence escalated a year ago today.

Four-year-old Amira and her father, Shaun (right), live near George Floyd Square [Cinnamon Janzer/Al Jazeera]

“It’s been amazing for a year,” he told Al Jazeera. “It simply came to our notice then. People here are celebrating George Floyd’s life. ”

Long way to go

Although there was a quiet and fun party, the venue was affected by the violence earlier in the day. On Tuesday morning, gunfire erupted near another location from George Floyd Square and police said a man believed to be involved in the crash was later admitted to hospital with serious injuries, Associated Press reported.

Workers and the community say there is still a long way to go – to get justice, but to fix the suffering of the community.

“This is a holy place. It is sacred because people have made it sacred, ”Williams said. He hopes the evening watch will be over. Asked about Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey’s comments on his plans to reopen the stadium, “he should wait until the people have finished crying and mourned because this is the way to go,” Williams said. “I think there will be a lot of opposition, as it should be, to let these people grieve and cry.”

In addition, George Floyd Square becomes Sam who decided to arrive today from Hopkins to see what is happening on his own instead of watching it on TV.

Sitting in a purple chair in the shade next to his wife, Sam said last year has been a real confusing and confusing one.

Sam arrived in George Floyd Square from Hopkins, Minnesota, to pay his personal taxes [Cinnamon Janzer/Al Jazeera]

“If you drag me … I know what’s going to happen. I hope and pray that I can go to jail, but I could be killed. It’s a system,” he says. “If officers are not trained to deal with people of color and people with diseases or other problems, then you have a job. wrong. “

A 70-year-old woman named Gloria is also confined to a lawn, but has lived outside her home for the past 27 years. The street lights are painted with the Jamaican flag. “I see it all,” he says. He is said to have witnessed the killing of Floyd from a bus station across the street after buying lottery tickets.

They cook for the community as often as they can today – whipping cooked chicken, dried chicken, fried fish, and rice and beans for passersby. She hopes to be in the same place all day and in the summer, steps from a flower-decorated monument where she says her daughter-in-law was killed years ago. He still did not know who was in charge.

A short walk from Gloria’s house, Signe Harriday and Maria Asp and the Million Artists Movement, a group of black and brown activists, sit on grass chairs under an umbrella full of canvas near the southern crossroads. Harriday and Asp have been bringing jobs to the area since last year. The organizers asked them to be available today.

“It gives people a chance to feel pain and heartache and sometimes the joy of sitting down and putting your hands on something and interpreting how you feel in a courtyard connected to another cage affected by another member of the community and so on,” Harriday told Al Jazeera. “The show at the end shows the ways in which we want to love and support each other,” he added.

George Floyd was killed by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin at the scene last year, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 25, 2021 [Cinnamon Janzer/Al Jazeera]

“It connects us again,” Asp said. “With all that has happened, people feel disconnected and what we want and try to do is connect and bond. Most of these here,” he adds, raising the walls around him, “are all done right now! These are people who sit down and take time to express their feelings.”

From creative to modern day, it helps to “know that you are part of something bigger than you are,” Asp said.

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