Fourth Generation Warfare

The Siege of the Third Precinct in Minneapolis


In this anonymous submission, participants in the uprising in Minneapolis in response to the murder of George Floyd explore how a combination of different tactics compelled the police to abandon the Third Precinct.

The following analysis is motivated by a discussion that took place in front of the Third Precinct as fires billowed from its windows on Day Three of the George Floyd Rebellion in Minneapolis. We joined a group of people whose fire-lit faces beamed in with joy and awe from across the street. People of various ethnicities sat side by side talking about the tactical value of lasers, the “share everything” ethos, interracial unity in fighting the police, and the trap of “innocence.” There were no disagreements; we all saw the same things that helped us win. Thousands of people shared the experience of these battles. We hope that they will carry the memory of how to fight. But the time of combat and the celebration of victory is incommensurable with the habits, spaces, and attachments of everyday life and its reproduction. It is frightening how distant the event already feels from us. Our purpose here is to preserve the strategy that proved victorious against the Minneapolis Third Precinct.

Our analysis focuses on the tactics and composition of the crowd that besieged the Third Precinct on Day Two of the uprising. The siege lasted roughly from 4 pm well into the early hours of the morning of May 28. We believe that the tactical retreat of the police from the Third Precinct on Day Three was won by the siege of Day Two, which exhausted the Precinct’s personnel and supplies. We were not present for the fighting that preceded the retreat on Day Three, as we showed up just as the police were leaving. We were across the city in an area where youth were fighting the cops in tit-for-tat battles while trying to loot a strip mall—hence our focus on Day Two here.


Leave a Reply