Much to my serious anger, there’s a gang war afoot in Minneapolis and now the little brats are spreading it across all neighborhoods, nearly and actually killing people caught in the crossfire. Oh hell no. I did not leave Chicago area for Minneapolis to end up just living in Chicago, the colder edition. It’s bad enough that the Disciples marked up the Hindu temple. It’s bad enough that the rules of the tagger are being violated, and I’m seeing more and more private property tagged. I’m not crazy about sidewalk and bus stop tagging, but I tolerate it if it says something more than “X Gang I’ve enslaved myself to is cool!” But when you’re tagging somebody’s porch – and it’s someone who’s got nothing to do with you? That’s too far, you shooty little shits. Now that people are dying, and getting shot or nearly getting shot, it’s beyond too far. Our police force here may be slightly unhinged, but apparently it’s so they’re well matched to the criminals.
So, before we get too far into this post, know this: I am VERY comfortable with using magic to influence my city, and influence local events. I don’t do it much – events self-regulate pretty well. There’s a law of physics to local politics, and once you realize that if you ignore the language of intimidation you almost always win, it’s super easy to navigate. And North Minneapolis has made serious efforts to get their homes back from the gang lords. The massive construction on Lake Street was actually a project to drive down crime in the area, and it worked. The problem is that the a)the slimeballs that take advantage of the vulnerable-but-inclined-towards-violence are sidestepping elimination, and simply moving business elsewhere and b)their recruits, who are vulnerable yet violent enough to kill innocent people over their right to remain slaves, have either no idea that there are options, no options, or do not have the brain power required to create fresh options.
Last year a friend of mine “adopted” North Minneapolis and was concentrating on sending it “reduce violence” vibes. Every Sunday he ran a meditation group that focused on the area, and nightly he went over a map of North Minneapolis. It was his “adopted neighborhood.” It was working – throughout the year, that section of town has had the lowest murder rates it’s had in decades. Unfortunately, either this is an unintended consequence (the violence just relocated, a la the Lake Street project where it all went to Franklin) or we’ve got a bunch more people with bad intentions moving into the city thanks to dropping property values. There’s always ugly in this somewhere, in terms of privilege, gentrification, and race. But I think murder outranks those issues.
At this point, I feel threatened enough to act, but not so threatened that I will act rashly. Northeast is a damn good neighborhood, with an ethnic mix that usually supports each other when it counts. The mosque is next to the liquor store, and it has never, ever come to blows, after all. Words, occasionally, but not blows. Since the place has about 14 languages spoken daily in this six block radius as it is, for the most part no one really understands the insults and it’s probably to our benefit.
I am going to do something, starting with a ritual and offering to Athena, to see what she might say about this situation. (For all I know, Ares is behind the escalation. Or not. He’s capricious. Could be something that’s got nada to do with gods and everything to do with drug trafficking.) I’m going to use my Air Painter program on my Android to mark obvious gang graffiti, and put this negating symbol over it directly in the astral: GM=SL (gang member = slave.) I plan to buy a few updated maps, trot out my tarot cards, and really look at some of these news reports. If you want to help, let me know. If you want to say something patronizing about volunteer work and money fixing all social ills, fuck off.