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Mall of America action in solidarity with Black Lives Matter

By staff

Bloomington, MN – Over 25 community members and 15 members of the clergy gathered at the Mall of America, July 26, to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement, to call for an end to the terrorization of people of color through police violence and mass incarceration and to urge Mall of America (MOA) to drop its charges against 36 organizers and bystanders stemming from last December’s MOA protest.

Gathering near the mall’s West Entrance, the group raised their voices in song calling for others to join together in the struggle for justice and freedom. Clergy and community members sang the protest song We Ain’t Gonna Stop Till the People Are Free and read the names of those killed or brutalized by police violence, including Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old woman found dead in a Texas jail cell after being arrested for failing to signal a turn. The group, consisting of people who identify as white and of European descent, wore shirts reading “Black Lives Matter” and also held a sign reading “White silence costs lives.”

“We are here because Black people are dying in America for no reason other than the color of their skin,” stated member of First Universalist Church, Denise Konen. Not only do they face the threat of daily danger, but are the first to suffer from an ingrained system of structural racism and inequity. This week, Sandra Bland died in police custody after being pulled over for not using a turn signal. What would have happened had she been white? Minneapolis has the worst racial disparities in the country in every area from housing to education to incarceration to employment to health services. Until white folks take a stand and speak out for justice our brothers and sisters will continue to be murdered by this destructive system of white supremacy. As people of faith, we believe that love can unite us and heal the wound that racism has woven into our institutions. It is this faith that call us to act now and to ask others to join us.”

Last December, the Mall of America was the site of one of the largest rallies of the Black Lives Matter movement, with over 3000 people demanding changes to racially violent policing practices. When asked why demonstrators came to this location today, Reverend Ashley Horan stated, “We are coming back to the Mall of America because we want to make the invisible visible. The MOA continues to directly support the City of Bloomington's persecution of the #MOA36 – a case that is intentionally draining the financial, spiritual and organizational capacity of the Black Lives Matter team.”

Horan continued, “We want to remind the MOA, and the public, that intimidation will not silence us. We will continue to disrupt business as usual until our society, including big business and repressive political systems change, until the charges against the #MOA36 are dropped, and until Black, brown and Native people in our country no longer fear being killed by the police or being locked in a cage. We act to honor the memory of Sandra Bland along with too many others, and we will continue to act until we live in a world where Black lives matter.”

#BloomingtonMN #AfricanAmerican #Antiracism #BlackLivesMatter #MallOfAmerica