This manifesto highlights the tactics used by the Minneapolis rioters. It’s part after-action report, part cheerleading document, part tactics manual. Mostly, it’s a long read. What’s obvious throughout is that the rioters and looters acted in opportunistic fashion to help advance the overall goal.

One thing that’s immediately clear is this wasn’t just a bunch of activists protesting. They didn’t start off as organized in the traditional sense. They morphed as the nights went along. One of the key groups were the “Medical Support.” According to the manifesto, this “included street medics and medics performing triage and urgent care at a converted community center two blocks away from the precinct. Under different circumstances, this could be performed at any nearby sympathetic commercial, religious, or not-for profit establishment. Alternatively, a crowd or a medic group could occupy such a space for the duration of a protest. Those who were organized as street medics did not interfere with the tactical choices of the crowd. Instead, they consistently treated anyone who needed their help.”

We’ll find out later in the manifesto that the looters resupplied the medics with water by looting stores in the neighborhood near the Third Precinct. There were some looters out for personal gain. It’s just that lots of looters took the opportunity to steal what they needed to escalate the violence.

Peaceful Protestors

The non-violent tactics of peaceful protesters served two familiar aims and one unusual one:

  1. They created a spectacle of legitimacy, which was intensified as police violence escalated.
  2. They created a front line that blocked police attempts to advance when they deployed outside of the Precinct.
  3. In addition, in an unexpected turn of affairs, the peaceful protestors shielded those who employed projectiles.

The supposedly peaceful protesters were used like human shields. In the future, police and national guards shouldn’t let these protesters go unpunished. If they simply protest, that’s protected. The instant that they’re used as human shields to protect rioters, they aren’t protected. The First Amendment protects “the right of the people peaceably to assemble.

Whenever the police threatened tear gas or rubber bullets, non-violent protesters lined up at the front with their hands up in the air, chanting “Hands up, don’t shoot!” Sometimes they kneeled, but typically only during relative lulls in the action. When the cops deployed outside the Precincts, their police lines frequently found themselves facing a line of “non-violent” protestors. This had the effect of temporarily stabilizing the space of conflict and gave other crowd members a stationary target. While some peaceful protestors angrily commanded people to stop throwing things, they were few and grew quiet as the day wore on.

According to their own words, these protesters were complicit in the violence. This isn’t police speculation. This is a manifesto written by the people who carried this out. While it’s true that this wasn’t organized in the traditional sense, it’s equally true that these ‘troops’ were well-trained in street warfare. Lots of people were capable of doing multiple jobs. This is displayed here:

After the police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, the ballistics squads also began to employ rocks. Elements within the crowd dismantled bus bench embankments made of stone and smashed them up to supply additional projectiles.

It’s difficult to picture how the entire crowd wasn’t complicit in these riots. With different groups moving from station to station, why shouldn’t we anticipate them getting into the action?

The manifesto is a lengthy read but it’s important reading. We shouldn’t think of these mobs as being poorly trained or ill-equipped. Clearly, they’re well-trained and properly equipped. Most importantly, they’re trained in restocking the shelves to sustain the rioting.

Finally, it’s important to state that the vast majority of protesters/rioters have never for a Republican in their life. These people don’t think the police serve a worthwhile function. These people are DFL mainstream in Minneapolis.

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