Black-owned businesses in Minneapolis autonomous zone – where police are kept out – plead for help

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN– The New York Post reported that black-owned businesses at the intersection where George Floyd died in May 2020, now known as George Floyd Square, are pleading for, among other things, help from police. 

Black merchants near the once-thriving corner of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue said police have abandoned the blocked-off intersection, creating a dangerous autonomous zone that has seen crime spoke and business evaporate.

Owner of Smoke in the Pit restaurant said:

“The city left me in danger.”

The merchant, who asked to be identified only as Alexander W, for fear of reprisals, added:

“They locked us up on here and left us behind. They left me with no food, no water, nothing to eat. The police, fire trucks, can’t come in here.”

The intersection is essentially abandoned. At least five stores long the block are shuttered. Owners and workers at most of the stores that do remain open were too afraid to comment to The Post. Richard Roberts, who works at the nearby Worldwide Outreach for Christ church said:

“Look around, things are empty. What can we do about it.”

He added:

“Sometimes it’s good and sometimes bad. It’s not stopping violence.”

The black-owned businesses said they have lost 75% of their business since the Floyd memorial began shortly after his death. Many have even launched a GoFundMe fundraising page in a desperate bid to stay afloat.

According to the fundraising page, the merchants “feel they have been the sacrificial lambs” in the city’s response to Floyd’s death.

The page added:

“In the fight for justice we must not forget the fight for economic justice of (a) once-thriving community. We business owners know that the fight for justice doesn’t just include justice from the legal system, we must also include justice for business impacted.”

Phil Khalar, a member of the group that oversees the memorial, said the merchants’ complaints are part of a “false narrative.” Khalar said:

“It’s not like we are telling delivery drivers or customers not to come in. This area has always been violent.”

Khalar then said that Blood gang members “keep us safe in their own way.” However, residents and businesses have complained that a new element of lawlessness has seeped into the area recently, with left-wing militants and gang members turning it into a “volatile” autonomous zone.

In March, the police said that they would retake the intersection and restore safety, but no specific timeline was given and it has yet to happen even after a jury convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of murder and manslaughter charges in Floyd’s death.

An employee of Giant Express Laundromat said that “business is bad.” The employee added:

“No one absolutely knows who runs this. It’s like a union. One person is selected as a leader one week and if they’re not fit they get thrown out.”

He added:

“The black and white community now made this a hangout place to come and grieve. There should be a memorial, but something has to be done.”

John Nolte, editor-at-large with Breitbart News, reiterated how black business owners are pleading for help in the autonomous zone. He stated:

“Imagine living and trying to do business like this for more than a year. It’s outrageous and only hurting the very people, black Americans, Democrats claim they want to help.”

He added:

“But Democrats have no interest in helping anyone other than themselves and if every blue city in America has to be burned to the ground in order to hide the fact that Democrats cannot handle the most basic tasks of governing (and nothing is more basic than keeping people safe), they will see to it that those cities burn.”

Nolte said that Minneapolis has been governed by Democrats for more than 40 years and that Republicans are so outnumbered they have no say whatsoever in how the city is run. Will these folks vote for change or will they vote for more of the same?

Nolte said:

“You get what you vote for, so I’m just curious how long the people of Minneapolis are going to vote for race riots, arson, violence, despair, bad policing, and looting.”

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LET Unity

Minneapolis city council candidate tells rioters to target wealthy neighborhoods for setting fires

April 20th, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS, MN– In a recent Facebook post, a Minneapolis City Council candidate encouraged those rioters who felt like setting fires to buildings and property, to target the city’s wealthiest residents living in the Lake of the Isles area. 

The post, which has since been marked “private/not public,” was authored by Margarita Ortega, who is running for City Council Ward 9. As show below, Ortega wrote:

“Just a personal thought- just in case y’all feel like burning (expletive) down, the poor community is not your oppressors. FYI- lake of the isles has more than needed and won’t be missed.”

According to reports, Lake of the Isles is a popular tourist destination and is surrounded by some of Minneapolis’ most luxurious homes, which are owned by the city’s wealthiest residents. 

In a follow-up tweet, Minneapolis Crime Watch stated that residents of that specified area contacted the police with concerns and it is being considered a “credible threat.” The follow-up message said:

“FOLLOW UP: A resident from the Lake of the Isles area (and others) contacted MPD about @ritaforward9’s comments & summarized the reply they got saying that it’s being considered a ‘credible threat’ & that person/s in MPD have forwarded the info to other units for investigation.”

It appears that Ortega’s comments were made in the context of the recent violent riots in Brooklyn Center where 20-year-old Daunte Wright was fatally shot by a police officer during a traffic stop.

In a follow-up post, Ortega attempted to argue that her comments were justified because the wealthy “have insurance and the means to rebuild.” She added:

“Division has been created and continues not by my hands. I’m not the greedy one living in million dollar mansions while people are sleeping in tents and on the street.”

She wrote:

“When I hear people crying for justice and since I know that feeling of pain and anger, I know justice is not felt when I can walk to the richest area and see people lavishly living with no care to the injustice that they re helping to create for their own happiness. As us poor people work for their success and happiness. I feel another injustice.”

Ortega stated that she took her daughters with her on a trip to the Lake of the Isles where they allegedly told her they wanted to leave. She stated that the experience of seeing rich people made them start asking questions. She wrote at the end of her post:

“Why do I need to apologize for the economic division created, not by me? Why can’t we talk about the class and economic division that had built the foundation of white supremacy? Justice is not just racial, it’s economically rooted. The burning of our city showed that and I can’t be the only one that feels that.”

According to Ortega’s campaign website, she was a policy aid at Minneapolis City Hall and has spend 10 years working in city government. Ortega was profiled in the Washington Post, where she stated:

“I’ve always felt we’ve never really needed the police.”

Shortly after the fatal shooting of Wright, Ortega tweeted:

“The only way forward is abolishing the police. No institution should be allowed to murder in our communities with impunity.”

According to her campaign website, Ortega alleges that the communities within Minneapolis have been “consistently failed by the Minneapolis Police Department.” She added:

“The city spends far too much on unjust and ineffective solutions…policing is not a solution to homelessness, economic inequality, or addiction. We cannot fully invest in housing, social services, economic stability, and healthcare unless we stop prioritizing the funding of an over-militarized, unaccountable police force at the expense of other needs.”


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