A demonstration outside the governor’s residence in St. Paul on Sunday evening to protest Philando Castile’s death had all the makings of a block party. Children and adults tossed water balloons, sang songs and ate warm food.
But the nearly 150 people also called for justice for the man who was fatally shot by police in Falcon Heights on July 6.
Although the predominant mood was cheerful, every so often someone would start a chant: “No justice, no peace, prosecute the police.”
Allysza Castile, Philando Castile’s younger sister, thanked the crowd before quickly leaving.
“I don’t know you, but I love you,” she told them before the 4 p.m. rally. “He was my role model and he still is my role model.”
The group then quickly moved onto Summit Avenue, which St. Paul police had reopened to car traffic last week after protesters shut it down after Castile’s death.
“Whose streets? Our streets!” they shouted as several State Patrol vehicles bookended the road at Oxford and Chatsworth streets.
Alma Matsuo, from New York, set up a screen-printing station and designed images that people could print on white fabric and hang outside the governor’s residence. One image had a pair of open hands and a poem by Nikki Giovanni titled “Allowables.”
“I was so inspired by this poem,” Matsuo said.
Matsuo said proceeds from the poem print sold on her Etsy page go toward bail for protesters, including those who participated in the Interstate 94 shutdown days after Castile was killed.
Another protest is planned for 6 p.m. Saturday outside a St. Anthony municipal liquor store.
A flier that was passed around said, “Profits from the St. Anthony liquor stores fund their racist cops. Make ’em pay!”