Thousands shut down Mall of America in MN saying, ‘Black lives matter!’
Bloomington, MN – Thousands of protesters shut down large sections of the biggest shopping mall in the U.S., the Mall of America (MOA), in the early afternoon of Dec. 20, demanding an end to police brutality. The mall rotunda was filled demonstrators with raised arms, chanting “Hands up, don’t shoot!”
Above the protesters in the rotunda, and alongside a giant artificial silver Christmas tree, a huge electronic billboard warned, “Those who continue to demonstrate will be subject to arrest.” More than 1000 protesters filled the store-lined corridors that radiate out from the mall’s rotunda. Some pressed through lines of mall security, with their hands raised and chanting. Many MOA stores closed up and riot-clad police could be seen marching up corridors. The protest continued until late afternoon.
A statement from demonstration organizers, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, said, “Our basic demands are: an immediate end to the unjust police murders of unarmed Black people, including Black children and teens, and for Minnesota to take measures to eliminate the worst racial disparities in policing in the country.” The statement also called for a number of policy changes including, “adoption of legislation to end racial profiling, including an end to MOA’s illegal racial profiling.”
The protest was joined by many progressive Twin Cites organizations including the Anti-War Committee and the Welfare Rights Committee.
The protest at the Mall of America was one of the many that have taken place in recent months after the uprisings in Ferguson, Missouri in response to the police murder of Mike Brown, and the recent decision of a grand jury to let the New York cop who killed Eric Garner escape justice.