At 3:45am this morning, over 100 Minneapolis Police evicted the #4thPrecintShutDown and bulldozed the camp after 18 days of a 24/7 peaceful vigil, arresting 8. Those arrested have since been released and this afternoon, just 12 hours after the protest site was raided, over 300 people filled City Hall chanting "The people, united, will never be defeated." Powerful.
I would like to thank all of our customers who embraced our recent efforts to support Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, either with monetary donations (yesterday we donated $500 to them, thanks to you!) or your personal time in helping us deliver hot food and beverages during the 4th precinct protest.
One of our core values at Birchwood is connectedness. By connecting to where our food comes from, we see that we are connected to the land, the animals and ultimately, to each other. Our staff includes humans of all colors, genders, and faiths, and we acknowledge our shared humanity through this connection.
Though the 4th precinct protest site is shut down, we will continue to support the Black Lives Matter Minneapolis campaign because as a business, we believe it is our responsibility to speak out against injustice that happens in our community. We recognize that historically and institutionally, our society's systems — including the prevailing food system — were built on the framework of white privilege, which discriminates against the black community and people of color in a myriad of ways. We feel that if anyone in our community is discriminated against, it hurts us all.
It's not hard to see the "tale of two cities" and the racial and income disparities prevalent here at home in Minneapolis. At Birchwood, it is our hope that our support can draw awareness to this glaring disconnect: We live in a city that works for some but clearly not for all. This was evidenced recently in the stark contrast between customers who wait in long lines here at the cafe to eat our Savory Waffles, while just a few miles Target Stadium has people wait in long lines for hours just to find out if they get to work that day or not. It is our hope that greater awareness will move more people to engage in the work of sparking the real change that is needed so we can ALL live in a city/world where everyone has the same opportunities.
I also appreciate and acknowledge those who have questioned our support, yet have been willing to engage in a conversation on this issue. I invite more of this civil dialogue. It is the path to greater understanding.