The Potluck

Photos: Thousands gather for sit-in at the state Capitol

By: - June 2, 2020 5:12 pm

Thousands gathered outside the Capitol for a sit-in June 2, 2020 organized by students in response to George Floyd’s death. Photo by Rilyn Eischens/Minnesota Reformer

Thousands of Minnesotans gathered at the Capitol Tuesday under an unusually hot June sun for a student-led sit-in to protest against police for the death of George Floyd.

The demonstration was organized to raise awareness of the policing of Black communities and as a tribute to the sit-ins of the civil rights era. The crowd was peaceful, listening attentively as organizers called for police reforms and the arrests of all four officers involved in Floyd’s arrest.

Speeches were sometimes raw as organizers expressed their grief, exhaustion and rage at the death of another Black man in police custody and the long history of police brutality directed at people of color. They called on white allies to step up and for people who came to the sit-in simply for a photo opportunity to go home.

“I’m tired of being tired. I’m tired of being angry,” one speaker cried out. “I’m tired of policing the police.”

Fridley residents Shane Dinh, 26, and Alisha Erickson, 24, said they’d participated in protests nearly every day since Floyd’s death on May 25. They said they were impressed by the turnout.

“If you’re able-bodied enough to be out and show your support, then why not?” Dinh said.

Thousands gathered outside the Capitol for a sit-in June 2, 2020 organized by students in response to George Floyd’s death. Rilyn Eischens/Minnesota Reformer

Thousands gathered outside the Capitol for a sit-in June 2, 2020 organized by students in response to George Floyd’s death. Rilyn Eischens/Minnesota Reformer

Shane Dinh, left, and Alisha Erickson, right, were among the thousands who gathered outside the Capitol for a sit-in June 2, 2020 organized by students in response to George Floyd’s death. Rilyn Eischens/Minnesota Reformer

Thousands gathered outside the Capitol for a sit-in June 2, 2020 organized by students in response to George Floyd’s death. Rilyn Eischens/Minnesota Reformer

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Rilyn Eischens
Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens is a former data reporter for the Minnesota Reformer. Rilyn was born and raised in Minnesota and has worked in newsrooms in the Twin Cities, Iowa, Texas and most recently Virginia, where she covered education for The Staunton News Leader. She's an alumna of the Dow Jones News Fund data journalism program and the Minnesota Daily. When Rilyn isn't in the newsroom, she likes to read, add to her plant collection and try new recipes.

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