Festival honoring George Floyd to be held on street where he took his last breaths
MINNEAPOLIS / AP — The street where George Floyd took his last breaths will host an outdoor festival on the one-year history of his death, complete with food, children’s activities and a long list of music performances.
“We’re going to be turning mourning into dancing,” rapper Nur-D tweeted. “We’re going to be celebrating 365 days of strength in the face of injustice.”
Floyd, 46, who was Black, died on Memorial Day 2020 after ex-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck, pinning him to the ground for 9 1/2 minutes. Chauvin, who is white, was convicted of murder in Floyd’s death and faces sentencing on June 25. Three other fired officers still face trial.
The intersection where Floyd died, 38th and Chicago, was taken over by activists soon after and remains barricaded to traffic.
The event was organized by the George Floyd Global Memorial. The organization has stockpiled 3,000 items surrounding Floyd’s death — things like artwork left behind in the square — and will display some of them in a pop-up gallery.
The event was due to start at 1 p.m., the same time Gov. Tim Walz asked Minnesotans to pause for a moment of silence to honor Floyd. Walz asked that the moment last for 9 minutes, 29 seconds – the length of time that prosecutors said Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck.
Walz’s proclamation said that Chauvin’s guilty verdict was a step in the right direction, “but our work to dismantle systemic racism and discrimination has not ended. True justice for George Floyd will come only through real, systemic change to prevent acts like this from happening again — when every member of every community, no matter their race, is safe, valued, and protected.”
Many members of the Floyd family were scheduled to be in Washington on Tuesday, in a private meeting with President Joe Biden, who called family members after the Chauvin verdict and pledged to continue fighting for racial justice.
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