Heavy-handed security efforts at the Mall of America and elsewhere did not deter Black Lives Matter protesters, who disrupted holiday shopping and travel on Wednesday to call attention to systemic racism and police brutality in Minneapolis and beyond.
After police at the mall threatened to arrest hundreds of peaceful protesters, Black Lives Matter activists moved their demonstration to nearby light rail trains and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, according to local news outlets.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports:
The Star-Tribune is also providing live updates.
According to Reuters:
The protest is took place despite the Mall of America’s attempts to shut it down. While a judge did bar three organizers from attending, she also said she doesn’t have the power to prevent others from showing up.
“We are a leader-full organization,” Kandace Montgomery, one of the organizers barred by the judge’s order, told the Associated Press. “Just barring three of us does not mean that you’ve stopped our work.”
Demonstrators are calling attention to the November police killing of 24-year-old Minneapolis black man Jamar Clark, who was unarmed when he was shot, as well as to racial injustice in Minnesota and across the country.
“Black Xmas is here and there will be no business as usual until we get accountability for our dead, and justice for the living,” reads a statement from the national Black Lives Matter Movement recognizing ‘Black Xmas’ efforts in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, and the San Francisco Bay area.
“Instead of buying gifts to fuel this system, Black Xmas is a day of action to reject the degradation of Black families and communities by police, politicians, and predatory companies, and declare our inherent worth,” the statement continues. “We will disrupt business as usual until city, state, and federal budgets stop funding Black death and start funding Black futures.”
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