Friday, February 23, 2024

Minneapolis May See Mass Exodus as Businesses Go Up in Flames

‘They didn’t protect our people. We were all on our own…’

Minneapolis Manufacturer Vows to Leave City After ‘Protestors’ Torched His Business
Onlookers watch as fire consumes a building in southeast Minneapolis during recent riots. / IMAGE: Vibe TV via YouTube

(Michael Barnes, Liberty Headlines) One week after violent protestors turned Minneapolis into an apocalyptic warzone, the first of presumably many business owners has vowed to leave the city.

“They don’t care about my business,” Kris Wyrobek, president and owner of 7-Sigma Inc., told the Minneapolis Star–Tribune.

Wyrobek founded his manufacturing firm in 1987, and over 33 years it grew to employ more than 50 people. But last week it was looted and burned to the ground amid shocking scenes of violence, arson and theft.

“They didn’t protect our people,” said Wyrobek. “We were all on our own.”

His life’s work in ruins, Wyrobek recounted the fateful evening when he lost everything: “The fire engine was just sitting there,” he said, “but they wouldn’t do anything.”

The 7-Sigma plant produces precision rollers used in high-speed printing systems and usually operated until 11 p.m. But it closed early on the first night of rioting to protect workers from violent mobs.

Two employees became alarmed when a $30-million public housing complex burst into flames next door. Within hours, 7-Sigma was destroyed.

Other business owners have similarly blasted city leadership for allowing rioters to pillage and burn businesses unobstructed, though Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has refused to answer questions about a potential mass exodus, the Star-Tribune reported.

Frey, a progressive Democrat, enthusiastically sided with protestors and would not allow police officers to intervene, or even defend the department’s Third Precinct headquarters when rioters successfully set about smashing windows and burned it down.

Minnesota’s Democratic Gov. Tom Walz called the city’s response an “abject failure,” but that didn’t stop him or Frey from blaming President Donald Trump.

A preliminary survey of property damage showed that nearly 1,000 commercial properties were damaged during the riots, including 52 businesses that were completely destroyed and another 30 businesses that sustained severe damage.

Frey has petitioned the federal government for financial assistance to rebuild Minneapolis, but the shameless appeal would likely serve as a thin veil on a much deeper problem that the city’s leaders refuse to address.

Rather than reassure the business community that looting and rioting will not be tolerated, the city council voted to defund its police department on Sunday.

When asked if he ever considered relocating before the riots, Wyrobek said, “not in my wildest nightmare.”

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