Matt Gray

Riot Update and a chronology

Apr 13, 2003

So I was minding my own business, working late at my office in Tate lab of physics, when I began to get annoyed by the buzzing of helicopters overhead. After glancing out the window for a while, I decided to take a break, and walk on over towards the center of the helicopters’ circle.

I was greeted by a bonfire on 17th Ave SE and 4th St SE, where I met up with some friends who had been at Sally’s earlier. We then walked down a block, and headed towards Williams arena - where we saw a ticket booth ablaze, flames leaping high into the air. Police began firing tear gas, and all of a sudden there was a human wave running our direction.. so we jogged with the crowd, slowed down, and waited. This procedure repeated itself throughout the night - run, wait, repeat.

The crowd moved into stadium village, and apparently broke into the Gateway Center (based on anecdotal evidence, namely some dude to my left). Then some young anarchist took up the cry: “Liquor Store! Liquor Store!” I immediately felt sorry for the owner of U Liquors, on Washington Ave. We arced around the back of the Minneapolis Fire Dept. on Beacon street, and rejoined the mass of rioters in front of U Liquors, just in time to see a few people hurl a bike rack through the window of the store. After the glass was (mostly) cleared away, people began streaming inside, and then exiting with fistfuls of beers and bottles..

Another explosion, and the crowd begins running toward Huron & Washington - the cops have entered the store from the rear. Finally, my friends decide to leave, as it is getting late and the crowd is getting uncomfortably close to where our cars are.

I then moved my car, came back into my office, and am typing this - I can still hear sirens and intermittent bangs, and I saw some fireworks from my window - but I think things are cooling down. There’s only a few sporadic photos available, but once Jeremiah has time to post, we should have a few good ones.

KARE 11 is reporting the car that was torched on 15th Ave & 4th St was a KARE news vehicle (story).

Well, I hope they don’t torch my car. What a waste of resources.

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