Civil Protest

Photo: U.S. Out of El Salvador protest in front of the Federal Building, downtown, Minneapolis, 1989. (Photo by Twin Cities Almanac).

Each year hundreds of protests occur across the metropolitan area. What follows is a select list of Twin Cities area protests. It does not contain the more recent George Floyd protests and marches, which are ongoing since the murder of George Floyd. More will be added to this listing as time permits and will span the political spectrum.

List of Contemporary Protests

Brooklyn Park Police Station protest following the police killing of Duante Wright, April 11, 2021. (Photo by Twin Cities Almanac, April 2021).

2021 – Protesters converge on the Brooklyn Center Police Department following the shooting of Duante Wright by a police officer who says she mistakenly shot him during a traffic stop when she meant to fire her taser.

2020 – Protesters march to the Hennepin County Government Center (courthouse) on the evening prior to the start of the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin had been charged with second degree murder in the death of George Floyd who was black and unarmed.

2020 – Roll4Justice. This rally and march was sponsored by Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee, this protest occurred in downtown Minneapolis to protest a corrupt criminal justice system and concentration camps at the United States border with Mexico, as all one and the same problem.

2020 – Ethiopian Slaying Protest. Protesters blocked I-94 at Victoria St. in St. Paul for approximately two hours to object to the high-profile slaying of an Ethiopian musician and activist Hachalu Hundessa. The killing was part of unrest in Ethiopia as they struggle for a multi-party system. The blockage of the interstate highway occurred after a rally at the state capital and the Minnesota State Patrol protected protesters.

2020 – Protesters marched from George Floyd Square (38th Street East & Chicago Ave. S.) to the Third Precinct Police Station. This consisted of about a thousand Minneapolis residents of diverse races marching in solidarity. In the following days, this would lead to the surrendering of that police station and its subsequent burning, one of the arsonists being a white supremacist.

2019 – A march protested against Trump and U.S. Immigration policies of family separation and the caging of children, as well as anti-Muslim policies. The rally started outside the Republican state organizing offices on East Franklin Ave. in south Minneapolis. The crowd was estimated at over 1,000 people.

Protesters are confronted by police at Bryant Square Park in Minneapolis on election night, November 3, 2020. Police arrested 14 people. (Photo by Grunt Mezera).

List of Historical Protests

  • An estimated 200 marchers walked along University Ave. and arrived at the Capitol in St. Paul to protest President Donald Trump. November 9, 2016.
  • Supporters of Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri, who was killed by police, marched down University Ave. in St. Paul from the Capital. November 24, 2014. They marched as far as Snelling Ave. where they block traffic and light-rail trains.
  • “Black Lives Matter,” July 2013, following the acquittal verdict regarding George Zimmerman who shot and killed the unarmed Trayvon Martin in Florida.
  • RNC Welcoming Committee (Republican National Convention counter-protests) , St. Paul, 2008
  • Response to the Police Acquittal in the Rodney King brutality case. May 2, 1992. An estimated 6,000 people marched, converging from North Mpls to City hall.
  • “U.S. out of Honduras,” nightly march at 5:00 p.m., downtown Mpls, late 1980s
  • “Bash the Rich,” Uptown, Mpls, June 4, 1988. Sponsored by RABL, this action blocked traffic and led to some property damage by Anarchists against wealthier drivers’ cars.
  • RABL (Revolutionary Anarchist’s Bowling League, founded 1987), occasional protests, often tossing a bowling ball through the windows of a military recruiting station to protest against U.S. Imperialism. Mid to late 1980s.
  • “A rally last Monday on the steps of the Minnesota Capitol in St. Paul drew an estimated 10,000 farmers and their supporters, who demanded a moratorium on farm foreclosures.” January 21, 1985. [Chicago Tribune, January 27, 1985].
  • “Take Back the Night,” gathering and march, typically from Boom Island to Loring Park (Mpls. and one year in St. Paul), 1983-1995
  • Demonstration of livestock farmers at the St. Paul Union Stockyards Company, South St. Paul, MN; September 24, 1964. “A large group of individuals, with farm trucks and other vehicles,[4] gathered at the stockyards for purposes of a demonstration. The apparent general objective of the demonstration was to promote changes in established marketing methods, making the sale of livestock before unloading the animals into the chutes or holding pens.[5] The immediate objective of the demonstration, more specifically stated, was physically to prevent the unloading of hogs *601 into the chutes.” [State v. Quinnell, 151 N.W.2nd, 598 (1967)].
  • The Honeywell Project. “In 1983, a massive demonstration that led to the arrest of around 150 protesters put the issue on the front page for Minnesotans. The FBI amassed a file on Marv Davidov that numbered some 1,200 pages, and FBI agents infiltrated the movement.” However, protests were ongoing for 23 years, beginning in 1968. Read More.

A rare Palestinian protest in front of the Jewish Temple Israel on the Hennepin Avenue side. (Photo by Twin Cities Almanac, circa early 1990s).


Protesting cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This occurred on the Nicollet Ave. side of Westminister Presbyterian Church, 1200 S Marquette Ave, Minneapolis. Several hundred people attended to demand that conservatives not eliminate the NEA as was being threatened. (Photo by Twin Cities Almanac, circa 1995).


A young African American girl stands next to a ‘Justice for Janitors’ enthusiast at a gathering in front of the University’s student union as she awaited the featured speaker, Jesse Jackson. the crowd was estimated at about 2,000 people. (Photo by Twin Cities Almanac).


“Minneapolis protesters carry casket, march through city on eve of Chauvin trial.” (Fox9News, March 4, 2021). Read Here.