Pollinators, Masks, & Fry Bread Tacos!
Keith and I were busy today! Scroll through to see the four events we attended today. I just finished editing photos for today and then am moving on to a video! So stay tuned for that!
UPDATE: The video compilation of today's events is ready & viewable here!
Today was full of surprises. First thing I did was stop by a casual, small event in a local resident's front yard, showcasing her pollinator garden and allowing Sandra Feist and Mary Kunesh to chat with voters. The surprise for me was that Ilhan Omar dropped in! At such a small, intimate event, I had the opportunity to have relaxed conversations with Ilhan, Mary, and Sandra. I'm still trying to process it all! The moment when Mary pulled up the video I made of the Ivanka Trump protest and showed it to Ilhan, praising it, I was in total happy shock! Thought about asking for a picture with Ilhan but, sincerely, my opportunity to connect with her one on one was an experience I didn't feel the need to capture nor share on social media.
"Come and meet DFL-Endorsed candidates Sandra Feist (House Rep for 41B) and Mary Kunesh (Senate for 41) at a pollinator garden open house party hosted by Maret Olson.
Explore a pollinator garden with mixed native and non-native plants, learn about bee friendly lawns, and learn about your candidates' views on issues important to you. The event is outdoors, and will be practicing social distancing. Wear your mask if you can. Drinks, snacks, and kid-friendly garden projects will be available."
Next Keith and I went to a protest of the death of Elijah McClain. We hadn't realized that most of the event would be near the end of the time frame, so there wasn't much happening when we got there. I made conversation with the people manning the voting registration table (I love connecting with people)! Then I was very curious about the anti-mask protest across the street, so I wandered there. Scroll down for more of that story...
"One Minnesota Proudly Presents “A Song For Elijah” a different kind of protest. Please join us on the grounds of the State Capitol to honor the life of Elijah McClain. We will gather together as #OneMinnesota to demand justice for the murder of this very special young man. We will discuss social change and introduce our plan for community policing. We will close this event with a very special musical tribute by Twin Cities Musicians. PPE is MANDATORY. Let’s be socially distant while standing together. 🖤"
I didn't actually locate the counter-protest to the anti-mask protest. My guess is they merged with the protest at the Capitol. No one was wearing a mask (no surprise), so I edged the crowd, protecting my health. However, KARE11's team was in the middle of the crowd (wearing masks) and recording the protest. I looked around and saw signs equating the "freedom" to not wear a mask to the freedom to not have an abortion. There were even signs appropriating slogans from the Black struggle for equality, and equating it to being mandated to wear masks. I felt very unsafe in this group and emotionally confused as fuck. I started to leave when I noticed that the group was starting to surround KARE11's team, getting in the videographer's face. The entire group moved in on them, holding their megaphone right up to the videographer's ears. The State troopers finally casually walked over and escorted the media to the outskirts of the group to ensure their safety. KARE11 and I walked back to the Capitol's protest, where I started talking to them, acknowledging the shit show they just went through. As we finished up chatting, the journalist asked if he could ask me some questions on camera. I said sure, so now there's this.
"WE ARE ACTUALLY MEETING *NEAR* THE CAPITOL, at the Women's Suffrage Memorial across Ref, Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. We will move closer if we safely can. Map in comments. I'll be wearing a day-glo yellow hardhat and hair in two buns, so you can find me.
This is a peaceful protest in support of the, literally, vitally necessary State mandate to wear masks n public places. We don't want anyone in a decision-making capacity thinking we are the minority. This protest will be most effective if we outnumber the mandate protesters to the extent that we steal their thunder and media attention. So please share this far and wide. Please also check in so we have an idea of our numbers; as of this writing the group hosting the protest we are countering has 11,000 members.
Leave any weaponry at home, but it's probably a good idea to bring standard protest gear; details in comments. Signs are great."
By then we were HUNGRY. Luckily, Native Lives Matter put together a fundraiser for Savannah, a Native youth looking to go to college to study Native American Studies and Education (I think I got that right). The group made fry bread tacos and sold them for $8 (including a drink!) It was our first time eating fry bread tacos, and it was made clear to me that I was super lame for not having tried one by my age. :) They were delicious. Follow Native Lives Matter on Facebook to be notified of future fundraisers for Savannah!
"All proceeds will go to Savannah Pomani's Tuition at the University of North Dakota. Savannah is going to school for American Indian Studies and minoring in Criminal Justice. When she graduates she will use her degree to help justice families as much as possible.
She has a GPA (grade point average) of 3.7 and she just got accepted on the 9th of July."
Lastly, we made it to Mike Freeman's going away party. Mike Freeman is the Hennepin County attorney general who has consistently made decisions to not follow-through with justice for many lives murdered by the police. I understand he is selling his house, so activists took over the block for a celebration tonight. My battery was dying so I wasn't able to stay long, but I still got a few pictures.
"Join us for a going away party for Mike Freeman! We have protested enough at Mike Freeman’s house that he’s moving away and we are throwing a going away/block party for him!
Twin Cities Relief (formerly Twin Cities Stand Together) will be providing food.
10K will be providing music.
We will be collecting back packs and art supplies for kids in honor of Brian Quiñones to carry on his legacy of giving to kids in need.
There will be yard games, water balloons/squirters, and more family fun!