Alexandria residents stand in solidarity
Unlike many in wake of George Floyd death, protest is peaceful
More than 100 Douglas County residents gathered Sunday morning in a witness of solidarity for black and brown people. After the death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis, Alexandria activist Jon Koll organized a gathering for local people to peacefully speak their minds. However, they weren’t physically saying anything.
“We made this silent, and let our signs do the talking,” Koll said. “We had around 100 people show up with about 25 more joining in throughout the morning. I thought it went really well with only a few instances.”
Gatherers were met with approval of many bystanders throughout the morning. Although the statement was a positive overall, there are always outliers.
“We had a truck rev the engine and blow smoke into us at the stoplight. Another guy threatened to burn down the Big Ole statue,” Koll said. “We had a plan if things got bad. The people with us were tremendous. I think we had the best possible outcome for something like this.”
Koll wanted to make the point that this was not a protest or a rally. Instead, he called it a witness.
The peaceful Alexandria demonstration was in contrast to the protests in the Twin Cities and around the world that have turned violent. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz called on the National Guard to help bring order in the Twin Cities.
Floyd, a black man, died after a video showed a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck for several minutes during a traffic stop. The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with murder.