Are Kentucky Farms Under Attack from Flocks of Ravenous Vultures? Not  Quite. | NRDC

 

If you're wondering what Minneapolis, home to one of the US's largest pagan communities, is like on the eve of the trial of the white policeman that murdered George Floyd here last May, I can tell you in one word: tense.

Everyone fears a reprise of the violence, arson, and looting that stalked last spring's protests.

Local activist groups have pledged peaceful protests, but everyone here knows that their pledges mean nothing. For four nights of terror in May, we watched our city burn around us as the peaceful protests were invariably followed by destruction and violence at the hands of bad actors from out-of-town and out-of-state.

That the vast majority of these bad actors came here, cowardly-wise, from elsewhere to work their morth-work and then leave again, is no consolation whatsoever to those of us left behind to sweep up the shards.

The scale of violence last spring caught everyone by surprise, and the arsonists and looters ran rampage here in the pagan neighborhood—my neighborhood—for four days before the authorities finally intervened. On one night in particular, four buildings burned within a block of my house. Most terrifying of all was the knowledge that if I were to call for help, none would come.

Some have accused city government of over-reacting in their pre-trial preparations. I'm not one of them. I, for one, have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that opportunistic bad actors, on both the Right and the Left, are already gathering from out-of-town, ready to work their havoc wherever, and whenever, they can. Call it vulture tourism.

Virtually everyone that I've spoken with seems to accept the likelihood of violence, which is in itself a bad sign. From what I'm hearing, the assumption seems to be that the best that we can hope for is that the destruction will happen somewhere else, probably downtown. That's not good news for the tens of thousands of people that live, or own businesses, near the trial's venue.

“I suppose we're all going to be sitting out on our front porches again all night,” my next-door neighbor, who's African-American, said to me today. She just turned 70 last year; she's lived in this house her entire life.

Gods know, we all hope and pray for a just verdict in this trial. If keeping your knee on someone's neck until he suffocates isn't murder, what is?

But one thing is certain: no matter what happens, the innocent—as usual—will bear the major brunt.

On the surface, the waters seem placid. We're enjoying an extended bout of South winds and unseasonably warm weather: people are out in the thin pre-Spring sunshine, dodging snowmelt puddles, spying the first robins. It's almost as if Spring is actually here.

But no one is fooled. Everyone knows that there's still more to come.