MNIPL Statement on the Police Murder of George Floyd

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We write with profound anger and sadness following the horrific murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police. Mr. Floyd was a beloved father, brother, neighbor, and guard for a local homeless shelter. In the words of his sister, “He was grounded, he was spiritual, he was an athlete, he was an organizer, he was a comforter, he was an encourager.” He should still be with us today.

For nine minutes, MPD officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Mr. Floyd’s neck, ignoring his pleas of “I can’t breathe,” while other officers stood by. Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light condemns the Minneapolis Police Department’s actions in the strongest possible terms and we demand that the officers involved be criminally prosecuted.

At MNIPL, we are committed to building a world in which care for the earth and care for one another are intertwined. We work towards climate justice because we believe all beings deserve a thriving, life-giving environment, and because we strive to preserve our planet for generations to come. The violence of white supremacy strikes at the core of our hopes and dreams, and it withers our work towards a healthy and sustainable planet. None of us can flourish when our neighbors are being murdered by police and harmed by the racist systems that surround us.

Let us be clear – the pain we are experiencing right now in Minneapolis is born from the violence of white supremacy, and from hundreds of years in which Indigenous, Black, Brown and POC communities have suffered under an unbearable system. We condemn the Minneapolis Police Department’s escalation of violence, and we hold those in the center of the conflict in our hearts. Across the street from the 3rd precinct, we are relieved that while Gandhi Mahal Restaurant and our Climate Movement Annex sustained some damage, the building was spared from fire and still stands.

George Floyd’s life mattered. We believe that right now, the best way to honor his life is to take meaningful and peaceful action. We encourage you to join us, and we call on communities of faith and spiritual practice across Minnesota to join the movement for justice for Mr. Floyd.

Here are a few concrete suggestions:

  1. Phone a friend. Take ten minutes and have a conversation with someone you know about police violence and George Floyd’s murder. Ask what the other person thinks, listen to their responses, and share your own perspective.
  2. Phone a decision-maker. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman will decide whether or not the officers who killed George Floyd are charged with a crime. Call Attorney Freeman at 612-348-5550 and demand that he press charges against all officers involved with the incident.
  3. Donate to the George Floyd Memorial Fund.
  4. Support front-line organizations who are leading work on the ground: Black Visions CollectiveReclaim the BlockMinnesota Freedom FundCTULCOPALBlack Lives Matter MinneapolisNAACP MinneapolisVoices for Racial Justice
  5. Read and educate yourself. MPD150 has released a thorough and insightful report asking us to imagine a different relationship to policing as a society. Join in the discussion.

Thank you for meeting this moment with significance and care. We are so grateful to be connected together in community and in our shared movement for climate justice.

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Julia Nerbonne