Mall of America Tries to Block Black Lives Matter Pre-Christmas Protest
The Mall of America is desperate not to let Black Lives Matter ruin its final days of shopping in the frantic consumerist run-up to Christmas, as the activist group did last year. On Friday, Mall of America, filed a temporary restraining order to prevent a protest planned for Wednesday.
Black Lives Matter has planned the protest over the Minneapolis police killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark last month. Activists are demanding that authorities release the video of the incident, the facts of which are under dispute. Authorities refuse to release the video while the shooting is under investigation. Police say Clark died during a struggle. Some witnesses have reportedly said he was handcuffed at the time.
Last year, Black Lives Matter disrupted holiday shopping at the Bloomington, Minnesota mega-mall with thousands of protesters showing up to express anger about the notorious police killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO and Eric Garner in New York. Several stores were forced to close as a result.
From the AP:
Beyond barring the protest, the mall's request filed Friday would also require organizers to remove posts with plans of the demonstration from social media and to send out notifications that the event has been canceled. The mall, which is privately owned and doesn't allow protests, contends that another demonstration would mean more lost sales for its vendors.
"Mall of America supports BLM's First Amendment right to free expression, but courts have clearly ruled that right may not be exercised on private property without the consent of the property owner," the mall's attorney wrote.
Black Lives Matter vowed to go through with its planned protest. The restraining order ruling is expected to be made Monday afternoon.