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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Attempts this week to re-open the Minneapolis intersection where George Floyd was killed in May 2020 were interfered with by protestors and activists who have been keeping the area – dubbed “George Floyd Square” closed for nearly a year as both a memorial and a so-called “autonomous zone” of protest where police are not allowed to enter, reports say.
Minneapolis city crews had originally attempted to remove the concrete barriers that had been blocking off the intersection at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue last week, but after some of them had been taken away protestors instead blocked the intersection with cars and wooden pallets.
The crews did not disturb the actual George Floyd memorial itself.
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The crews returned at 5 a.m. Tuesday morning with front-end loaders and brooms and were on the scene for approximately 30 minutes removing the remaining barriers. However, protestors later swarmed the intersection, preventing any traffic from getting through.
Many local residents and business owners have been critical of the protestors, and are demanding that they be forced to leave so that they neighborhood can finally return to normal.
The four-block intersection where Floyd died had quickly been overrun and cordoned off by activists, forming a autonomous zone known as the “Free State of George Floyd” where police were not allowed. The actual site of his death at the hands of former police officer Derek Chauvin – who was found guilty in April of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter – was re-named “George Floyd Square” and contains a large, makeshift memorial to his memory.
Inside the autonomous zone for the past year, crime was up, streets were lined with cars with broken windows, businesses were suffering, and emergency services would not venture inside.