Nimo Omar juggled school with protest activities for more than two weeks.

A student at Minneapolis Community & Technical College, she had to balance a full course load with her new duties as part of the encampment’s security team, keeping troublemakers out.

Some nights, social activism had to wait, because she had homework that couldn’t. While others chanted or marched, she would duck into a classmate’s car to charge her phone and laptop, or work on an essay for her writing class.

But the protests have also brought some respite. She joined fellow protesters dining on a hot buffet stocked with donated pies and macaroni and cheese during the so-called “Blacksgiving” celebration. Religious leaders from various faiths led the crowd in prayer.

Seeing the community come together was the best part of being out there, she said.

“On the first day, when we first occupied, there was nothing,” she said. “I remember sitting outside and not having coats, boots or gloves.”

In the protest’s final days, she joined others at a table overlooking the Minneapolis City Hall rotunda, savoring one of the few moments of calm. She watched as some of her fellow Black Lives Matter activists worked on posters for that night’s rally at Government Plaza. Omar said she will stay active with Black Lives Matter Minneapolis. Like many others, she said, she intends to continue demonstrating “until we get answers.”

Story by Libor Jany

Photo by David Joles