Public works team moves in to reopen George Floyd Square to traffic

Workers moved in early Thursday morning.
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A public works team in Minneapolis is currently at the scene of George Floyd Square, which is being cleared to reopen to traffic.

Workers arrived in the early daylight hours to reopen the intersection at 38th and Chicago, which has been closed to traffic since George Floyd's killing by police on Memorial Day 2020, serving as a memorial and community space since then.

But there have also been complaints from local residents about crime and violence at the site, and city leaders said earlier this year that the intention was to reopen the square to traffic while maintaining a memorial to Floyd.

Bobcats and a front-end loader are being used by workers to remove the barricades that have blocked traffic for the past 12 months, with support being provided by the Agape Movement, which has been providing security at the site and describes itself as "bridging the gap between the community and law enforcement."

The Star Tribune reports that both Agape and city leaders will hold separate press conferences to discuss how the decision was made to clear the intersection.

It appears as though the fist sculpture in the center of the intersection will stay, with signage being erected to created a roundabout around it.

In a statement, Mayor Jacob Frey and his main allies on the Minneapolis City Council – vice president Andrea Jenkins and council member Alondra Cano, said: "The City’s three guiding principles for the reconnection of 38th and Chicago have been community safety, racial healing and economic stability and development for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and other communities of color.

"The Agape Movement brought together community leadership to begin facilitating the phased reconnection this morning, with the City playing a supportive role. We are grateful for the partnership.

"We are collectively committed to establishing a permanent memorial at the intersection, preserving the artwork, and making the area an enduring space for racial healing.

Alongside City leadership, we have met on a regular basis with community members to discuss both the short-term path toward reconnecting this area and the long-term plan for the neighborhood with sustained investments to help restore and heal the community."

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