As the citizens of Minneapolis burn with passion over the sickening case of police brutality against George Floyd, their protests have brought upon seemingly unintended consequences including the ransacking of corporate retail juggernaut Target.
ProProtesters began their demonstration on the 26th of May, only one day after George Floyd passed away. The streets near and around Minneapolis were engulfed with angry People of Color venting their rage and fear at Minneapolis police. More than that, they were demanding the arrest of Derek Chauvin, the police officer directly involved with Floyd’s death. These calls were unanswered, the government and the police departments’ silence on the matter was deafening, serving only to further incite demonstrators. By the 27th, protesters and police clashed multiple times as law enforcement desperately tried to prevent the fall of MPD 3rd precinct’s police station — now resorting to tear gas and rubber bullets.
The crowd, now forced away from the police station began to turn their attention to other buildings. As the blaze of a nearby AutoZone lit up The crowd, now forced away from the police station, began to turn their attention to other buildings. As the blaze of a nearby AutoZone lit up the night, hundreds began the ransacking of Target. The liberation of Target continued through the night and into the morning of the 28th, with images of the raid circulating social media like wildfire. As news of this broke into the mainstream, a Saint Paul Target also found the same fate. Copycat protests began to start all over the United States and so did the ransacking of Target. Eye-opening images taken from the scene show mask-wearing activists load up on everything from toys to TV’s
While others, pictured in jogger attire, wander the Target.
However, the global community is split over the movement’s decision to seemingly besiege random businesses in retaliation for police abuse. While some rationalise the looting as simply a form of grieving over unnecessary death, others feel that indiscriminate defilement was not the answer. Nonetheless, the links between protesters, Target and Floyd are deeper than what people realise.
On the surface there is nothing fundamentally wrong with protesters helping themselves to Target merchandise. As a national super corporation (On the surface there is nothing fundamentally wrong with protesters helping themselves to Target merchandise. As a national super corporation (The 8th largest retailer in the US) and publicly traded, Targets profits will remain unaffected. However, for Black African Americans living in low income areas such as Minneapolis, this protest represents a welcome opportunity for wealth distribution from wealthy white old men to more marginalised and oppressed communities. Target was simply used as a vehicle for those less fortunate to claim reparations. This is a small compensation for the centuries of oppression.
As activists rightfully target police and the government property, Target’s association with these groups often flies under the radar. As revealed by GoodJobsFirst, Target has been accepting state loans from the Minnesota government –- essentially state operated, to the tune of $6,725,000 over the course of 5 years. Even more worrying are the contributions from foreign state money flowing into Target Minnesota including over $1,500,00 given by the Louisiana state government.
Not satisfied with its state relationship, Target, as reported by FollowTheMoney.org, regularly donates to federal politics including over $1,600,000 given to the Republican party. Target also has a terrible track record regarding workers rights. Embroiled in numerous scandals it is no surprise that Target has been spending money to establish relationships with local politicians. Just months earlier Target faced a Labour board investigation after claims that an internal employee activist page was blocked and restricted. This was purely based on hate and racism and was meant to suppress worker uprisings. A little earlier, Target settled with a class action lawsuit claiming that Target’s “background criminal checks discriminated against thousands of black and Latino applicants”.
While Targets government ties and scandals mount, these facts show there plenty of reasons why protestors, fed up with the rife oppression throughout the government would choose a company like Target to extract a small measure of justice for the genocide of their race through police brutality. As the rest of the world watches and judges, remember that these actions are a method of resistance and should be encouraged behaviour for other peaceful protesters to send a message – Stop killing Black people.