MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) – Eight activists with Black Lives Matter Minneapolis have been sued by Mall Of America, according to the group.
Black Lives Matter Minneapolis said that Mall of America has targeted four activists and four “John Does” with a temporary restraining order, as well as requiring them to delete any social media posts encouraging a the upcoming demonstration at the mega mall. The lawsuit also prohibits the defendants from demonstrating at MOA.
In 2014, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis protested at MOA and drew more than 2,000 people to the mall.
Last week, the group announced that they will return to Mall of America on Dec. 23 to protest the fatal police shooting of Jamar Clark. Clark, 24, was shot and killed by Minneapolis police in November. An 18 day occupation at the 4th Precinct in Minneapolis followed.
This year’s protest comes just weeks after protesters were removed from the 4th Precinct by police with bulldozers.
According to Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, the eight received letters at their homes on Friday.
“Mall of America is a private commercial retail center, and we prohibit all forms of protest, demonstration and public debate on our property, including political activity aimed at organizing police or social groups,” Mall of America officials wrote in the letter. “Any attempt by BLM and its supporters to conduct this unauthorized demonstration is a violation of MOA policies and constitutes an unlawful trespass.”
A hearing for the mall’s request is scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday in Hennepin County District Court. Mall of America confirmed they did send a letter, but would not release any other statement until after the hearing is held.
In addition to the lawsuit, Black Lives Matter said the the letter threatened arrest is the demonstration continued as planned.
If approved by a judge, the eight could face jail time for refusing to make social media posts or send texts calling off the demonstration.
Black Lives Matter Minneapolis said their demands are as follows: release the tapes of Clark’s killing, prosecute the police in involved without a grand jury by a special prosecutor, federal domestic terrorism charges against the men who shot at five protesters, institute a safety plan to protect community from police violence and “disinvest from Police and reinvest in Black futures.”
Organizers have no plans to halt the demonstration unless their demands are met.
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