After this weekend’s events downtown, a Gofundme fundraiser set up by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County, Michael Johnson, president and CEO of BGCDC, Madison365 and Paulo Delgado has reached over $134,000 as of Monday. The money will be used to assist with relief efforts for downtown businesses that suffered damage during Saturday and Sunday night’s riots. According to local reports, 75 downtown businesses experienced some form of damage over the weekend.
According to the Gofundme page, Madison’s Central Business Improvement District will survey all affected businesses and cut checks to those businesses depending on their needs within 48 hours. The BGCDC “donors will also be writing a check to the family of George Floyd.”
The Gofundme page shares some facts about downtown Madison’s businesses:
- “Over 50% of the businesses are minority owned businesses.
- 70% are local entrepreneurs.
- Some of the businesses have high deductibles like one particular owner has a $25k deductible.
- Some have insurance policies and some don’t. Some of the policies will not cover damages from events associated with acts of nature, similar to events from last night.”
On Saturday, Madison365 reports that more than 2,000 peaceful protesters gathered downtown mid-day to demand justice for the deaths of George Floyd last week in Minneapolis, Breona Taylor in Louisville last month, Tony Robinson in Madison five years ago and many other deaths in between. The protest ended around 4:30 p.m., at which point a smaller, separate group began damaging a police car. Throughout Saturday evening into Sunday, rioters took to downtown to damage business storefronts and loot from selected stores. On Sunday night, some downtown stores sustained additional damage by rioters.
In response, Mayor Satya-Rhodes imposed a curfew on Saturday and Sunday nights, and said this in a statement late Saturday evening:
“Sadly, tonight, when the organized event dispersed, a relatively small number of individuals what I believe were more interested in trouble than protest, remained behind and began a course of property damage in the downtown area.”
She continued: “George Floyd should be alive tonight and the fact that he isn’t, is an American tragedy … I also want to say that I completely agree with the protestors that were around the Capitol Square and right here in front of this building earlier today. I agree with their message, I agree with their right to protest and I agree with how determinedly and peacefully they protested today.”
In a display of community solidarity, thousands showed up downtown early Sunday morning to clean up broken glass, debris and graffiti.
Image by Jude Beck via Unsplash