Minneapolis City Council president unhappy that city removed graffiti in Uptown

When Bender first heard about the cleanup work being done, she wrote that she assumed the city employees "were talked into this by the business association."

City employees paint over graffiti in Uptown Minneapolis streets. (Twitter/Alex Beck)

(The Minnesota Sun) — After city employees went to clean graffiti off the streets of Minneapolis, City Council President Lisa Bender allegedly stopped the process. When Bender first heard about the cleanup work being done, she wrote that she assumed the city employees “were talked into this [cleaning up the graffiti] by the business association.”

In a later tweet, she said that the public works employees “mistook the drive aisle” at the location of the Winston Smith memorial for a “public space.”

The second autonomous zone was established in Minneapolis after the death of Winston Smith. Smith was shot by U.S. Marshals after failing to follow their instructions and producing a gun when law enforcement were trying to apprehend Smith due to warrants for his arrest. Later reports showed that Smith also fired upon the officers.

Activists and protesters blocked streets in Uptown and held the streets for several days. Local law enforcement attempted to take down the barriers on several occasions, only for them to be replaced. A section of the street has also become a memorial for Smith, where protesters have left flowers and painted graffiti on the sidewalk, street, and surrounding buildings.

A large section of the alley and sidewalk have been painted red, allegedly to symbolize the blood that the protesters say are on the hands of local law enforcement. The area was painted red again less than 24 hours after public works employees had cleaned up the area.

Other graffiti was also quickly repainted after the city stopped the cleanup efforts.

According to residents of Minneapolis, the section of street that protesters had held in Uptown is currently open for traffic.