Categorized | FEATURED, IN OUR COMMUNITY

Neighbors at George Floyd Square issue demands for justice

Posted on 28 August 2020 by Tesha Christensen

By JILL BOOGREN

Left to right: Amitri Hosea, Ashley Hosea and Semhara McBrayer pose with their freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies at the Reimagine 38th St. market on Aug. 22. (Photos by Jill Boogren)

It doesn’t get any more local than this: chocolate chip cookies baked in the commercial kitchen across the street and brought out fresh – still warm – for sale. These “Cookie Crumbs” cookies from Hosea Gourmet are offered, along with t-shirts, jewelry, candles, oils, face masks and other wares by entrepreneurs, at the Reimagine 38th Street market taking place on Saturdays at George Floyd Square (38th St. & Chicago Ave.).
Asked about baking and serving up cookies at the Square, Ashley Hosea said, “It just feels so good. It’s just genuine, organic, real, true.”
George Floyd Square is the focus of talks after the city of Minneapolis said it would be reopened to traffic in mid-August (the city placed barricades at each entrance to provide safe access for visitors).
In response, community leaders drafted Resolution 001, which includes a set of 24 actions they are demanding be taken by city, county, state and federal governing bodies in order to reopen either 38th St. E. or Chicago Ave. S.
“The George Floyd Memorial is first and foremost a place of protest, not commissioned by the city but by the people against the city,” states the resolution. The National Lawyers Guild of Minnesota and AFSCME LOCAL 2822 have endorsed the demands, available at bit.ly/George,floydsquare-a, which include police accountability measures as well financial investments in the neighborhood and youth.
At an Aug. 15 press conference held by community leaders at the Square, Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization (CANDO) Executive Director Carmen Means said they didn’t want to diminish calls for safer streets. “But we live in a land where they’re trying to make us choose between safety and justice,” said Means. “That should not have to be a choice.”
As of Aug. 23, the city has delayed reopening the street as talks continue (a statement by the city was posted on the Messenger Facebook page Aug. 17) Meantime, residents hold meetings twice daily in the Square, at 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., and events there continue apace. A “sit-in” by silent protesters was held on Aug. 17, and the following weekend visual artists were invited to “Occupy With Art!” by contributing a piece to the zone. Resident and Certified Balloon Artist Scott Nichols answered the call by creating a giant Prince symbol made of shimmering purple balloons (Prince spent some of his formative years in this neighborhood), and there’s now a piano on site.
The Reimagine 38th Street market, presented by CANDO, will continue on Saturdays through Sept. 5.