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Three years ago, on May 25, 2020, police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota killed George Floyd. Derek Chauvin pushed his knee onto his neck for almost 10 minutes while two other officers stood by. Floyd’s brutal murder was captured on camera and seen across the world. It sparked the largest protest movement in U.S. history.
Millions of people took to the streets across the country, day after day, in thousands of cities. As protesters joined these huge demonstrations for Black lives across both Democratic- and Republican-controlled states, they faced brutal police repression and curfews.
In Minneapolis, protesters burned down a police station. In Seattle and New York, people set up encampments to demand the police get defunded. People tore down statues and monuments featuring slave owners and Confederate symbols. There were even international demonstrations showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Although the movement died down, it was not crushed. A whole generation was changed by these uprisings, and we see remnants of this movement in social and labor movements today.
In this episode, Oden speaks to two guests for a wide-ranging discussion about the 2020 uprising, its legacy, and what it means for the left and Black struggle. Jonathan Flatley is a professor at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan who is working on a book about black revolutionary moods. Tristan Taylor is a life-long Detroiter, a member of Left Voice, and is a founding member of the anti-racist, anti-police brutality group Detroit Will Breathe.
We try to tackle a key question: How do we turn the energy of a moment like the massive 2020 uprising into a sustained movement, and what kind of revolutionary leadership do we need to do so?
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