For Paul and Amanda Greer, the post office on the corner of 1st Avenue and 31st Street in South Minneapolis was like a second home. Paul had been working there for 10 years when Mary started working 15 years ago.

The couple fell in love and got married.

“And then this came from our little envelope,” Amanda says, referring to the Mary daughter standing next to her.

Paul and Amanda Greer met 15 years ago at a post office that was destroyed by rioters.

Photo: Mikko Marttinen / IS

On Saturday morning, the Greers stood on the ruins of their second home. The rioters burned the building the night before, leaving no more smoky exterior walls.

- When I came here, I was bursting into tears. I don't know where we're going. Maybe we’ll be transferred to downtown main post, but I’m not sure. More than 40 mail carriers worked here, Paul Greer told Ilta-Sanomat.

- I can't imagine anyone in this community destroying their own post office. They know how important it was, Amanda Greer said.

Violence is on the rise

The death of black George Floyd at the hands of white police triggered protests in Minneapolis that lasted for the fifth day on Saturday. The protests have become increasingly violent.

Authorities admitted that they had not prepared for such a large and aggressive force as was seen the night before Saturday. According to Governor Tim Waltz, tens of thousands of people took part in the destruction, 80 percent of whom came from outside the state.

On Saturday, Minneapolis residents took the reins and brushes into their own hands. Thousands of people took to the streets to clean up the devastation of the previous night.

One of them was Dan Jackman, who was involved in cleaning up a destroyed burger restaurant.

- I have to do something. I cannot let our city fall apart without fighting for its unity.

- The protests have gone beyond where they originally started. If it is true that outsiders come here, I don’t know what to think. I blame Donald Trump for that.

- He incites racial differences in this country. As president, he should unite us, not separate us.

Dan Jackman went on a cleaning job like thousands of others.

Photo: Mikko Marttinen / IS

Hot night coming

Demonstrations continued on Saturday afternoon in Minneapolis. Authorities prepared for a hot night.

Shooting stations were erected on the roof of the police station next to the destroyed post office, and military vehicles brought thousands of National Guards into the city.

- The fine cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are under attack. Minneapolis is now attacking civil society, inciting fear and disrupting our great city, Governor Walz said.

- If you're on the streets tonight, it's very clear you're not one of us. You don't share our values. We will use the full force of goodness and justice to ensure that this ends.