As expected, hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters disrupted retailers and customers at the Mall of America in suburban Minneapolis. Several of the Mall’s largest stores were locked down. The Mall had law enforcement lined up to deal with the protesters. It appears that at least a few of the protesters arrested.
Warned off by the Mall and the coordinated efforts of law enforcement, the protesters moved on to disrupt light rail trains and inconvenience travelers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Blocked from entering the airport’s Terminal 2 (Humphrey, closest to the mall), protesters prompted the shutdown of security for 30 minutes. At Terminal 1 (Lindbergh), protesters stopped incoming traffic from the east and joined hands as they chanted “black lives, they matter here.”
Why did they do it? “We accomplished exactly what we came here to accomplish — we wanted to shut down the highway, shut down the airport and show solidarity with other Black Lives Matter groups,” said Michelle Barnes, one of the protest organizers.
The protesters demand the release of a tape showing the shooting of Jamal Clark by Minneapolis police. The shooting is under investigation. Governor Dayton has viewed the tape and announced that the video has no audio and doesn’t confirm either side’s allegations.
The protesters’ actions today have won precisely no one over to their cause. They have alienated many. They represent something like a pure assertion of will to power. Who will call these thugs out for what they are?
JOHN adds: Thugs indeed, but the story at the Mall of America turned out to be heartwarming. The mall was well prepared for the demonstrators, who got nowhere. Mall police cleared the East rotunda, where the demonstration was to take place, of shoppers. Stores were temporarily closed. When the demonstrators arrived, the mall was briefly locked down. Police wasted no time in clearing the demonstrators. They ordered the demonstrators out; most complied, apparently, and those who didn’t were shepherded out with only a few arrests.
Here demonstrators are leaving the Mall only a few minutes after arriving:
So the demonstrators suffered a humiliating defeat, and proceeded on to the airport via mass transit only because they were foiled at the Mall of America. The claim that they “accomplished exactly what [they] came here to accomplish” is absurd, unless their sole objective was to annoy virtually all Minnesotans with whom they came in contact.