Civil Rights

Activists say “paramilitary” mall security in Uptown is violating their rights

BY: - July 28, 2021

The Seven Points mall in Uptown hired private security contractors to clear out protesters’ memorial garden near a parking ramp where federal agents killed Winston Smith last month, citing increased violence, frequently barricaded streets and literal dumpster fires.  Activists say the private security guards are more like a “paramilitary security force” that they say has […]

Winona LaDuke released from jail after three days amid Enbridge Line 3 protests

BY: - July 22, 2021

Ojibwe activist and former Green Party vice presidential candidate Winona LaDuke was released from jail Thursday after her arrest Monday while protesting construction of an oil pipeline in northern Minnesota. She and six other women were sitting together praying on an easement and protesting construction of the Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline near Park Rapids […]

Quietly, gradually, George Floyd Square is open to traffic for the first time since his murder

BY: - July 22, 2021

On the morning of June 3, there were about as many journalists in George Floyd Square as city workers who were trying to reopen the four-block area to traffic, over the objections of some protesters and residents. The neighborhood had evolved into an “autonomous zone,” an expansive memorial and no-go zone for police after Floyd […]

The group working to get more Minnesota women of color onto corporate boards

BY: - July 20, 2021

Lorinda Burgess is an accomplished businesswoman. She’s worked at Medtronic for over 23 years, rising through the ranks to become the company’s vice president of finance and its chief financial officer of the Americas region. Burgess has no desire to leave Medtronic, but she found herself still hungry for ways to develop and network as […]

Minnesota park recognized as sacred cemetery

BY: - July 19, 2021

As far back as Samantha “Sam” Odegard can remember, Indian Mounds Park was an example of how sacred sites have been desecrated, in this case for people’s recreation. Odegard, a tribal historic preservation officer for the Upper Sioux Community, or Pezihutazizi Oyate, helped the city of St. Paul, Minnesota conduct a cultural landscape study about […]

Public safety alternatives are untested, viewed skeptically by anti-police activists

BY: - July 12, 2021

When Minneapolis public works employees arrived at George Floyd Square on June 3 accompanied by some 30 Black men from the Agape Movement — as Minneapolis police in riot gear waited in the wings blocks away — the scene hinted at the city’s fraught early going experiment with alternative public safety models.  Minneapolis, Brooklyn Center and […]

VP Harris says DNC will pour $25M into voting rights protection

BY: - July 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — Vice President Kamala Harris announced Thursday that the Democratic National Committee will spend $25 million to protect voting rights, in response to a wave of laws pushed by Republican lawmakers in state legislatures that would restrict voting access. The move comes after Democrats have been stymied in their attempts to enact a national […]

Federal investigation seeks to uncover the painful history of Native American boarding schools

BY: - July 8, 2021

WASHINGTON —The Native American children travelled on trains, thousands of miles from their homes, to Pennsylvania’s Carlisle Indian Industrial School in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Many had been forcibly taken from their parents and communities. Once there, they had to hand over their belongings, put on uniforms, cut off their braids, adopt new […]


What to the slave is the Fourth of July?

BY: - July 5, 2021

Editor’s note: Below are some excerpts from a speech on the meaning of the Fourth of July delivered by Frederick Douglass in Rochester, New York, July 5, 1852.  …Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your […]

Supreme Court upholds Arizona ‘ballot harvesting’ ban, in setback for voting rights law

BY: - July 1, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Arizona’s ban on third-party ballot collections, reversing the 9th Circuit’s ruling last year that the prohibition violated the Voting Rights Act and raising the bar on future voting rights lawsuits. In a 6-3 opinion, the high court ruled on Thursday that Arizona’s 2016 law doesn’t violate Section 2 of the […]

Republicans push back against federal approval for changes in state voting laws

BY: - June 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — Republicans during a U.S. House Judiciary panel hearing on Tuesday argued that a bill that would reinstate a preclearance section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act is unnecessary because there is no discrimination in voting.  The top Republican on the panel, Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., said that the legislation is not needed and […]

Supreme Court affirms transgender rights in declining to hear Virginia school bathroom case

BY: - June 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday that it will not hear a case of a transgender student in Virginia who was barred from using the boys’ bathroom, a decision that affirms lower-court rulings that said treating transgender students differently violates federal law. Justices on the top court offered no comment in declining to take […]