Showdown: Minnesota Judge’s Ruling Clears Way for Black Lives Matter Protest at Mall of America

Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP
Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP

Late Tuesday afternoon, Minnesota Judge Karen Janisch refused to halt a large Black Lives Matter protest planned for Wednesday at the Mall of America.

While the judge did bar three of the group’s alleged leaders from attending, Black Lives Matter leaders quickly responded by saying the protest would go on as planned.

Judge Janisch ruled that “Defendants Michael McDowell, Miski Noor, and Kandace Montgomery are enjoined from engaging in any demonstration on the MOA Premises on December 23, 2015, or thereafter, without the express, written permission from MOA Management,” but she denied other requests by the mall to keep protesters away.

The judge’s ruling showed the power of Black Lives Matters adopting the long-time leftist tactic of keeping itself as a loose-knit, “leaderless movement.” As the judge’s ruling stated:

The Verified Complaint identifies Black Lives Matters as a defendant. However, Plaintiff has provided no evidence that Black Lives Matters is a legally cognizable entity capable of being sued as a party in litigation.

The judge’s ruling made it clear that, under Minnesota law and prior court decisions, protesters have no First Amendment right to protest on the Mall’s private property, saying that “established precedent is that owners of privately-held shopping malls, such as the MOA, may exercise their rights of possession and control over their private property to exclude from their private property political demonstrators, like the individual defendants here, who wish to engage in speech and expressive conduct on private property.”

The group’s protests last year at the Mall of America drew nearly 3,000 people and forced over 80 stores at the mall to close temporarily on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

On the 18th of December, the Mall of America sent letters to Black Lives Matter Minnesota organizers requesting they cancel the protest, which is schedule to begin at 1PM.

After being served legal papers earlier, Black Lives Matter leader Michael McDowell stated “Black Lives Matter is not known for backing down.”

During a press interview given at the court by an attorney for Mall of America, other Black Lives Matter protesters “crashed” the interview with their own signs, some of which contained a hashtag the group started to mock the attempt by Mall of America to protect the rights of store owners and customers: #MOASueMeToo.

On Twitter, others used the hashtag to chime in with their own opinions.

The protests are connected to the police shooting of Jamar Clark on November 15th. Clark, 24, was shot after police responded to a domestic abuse call. When they arrived, Clark was also beating the paramedics who were trying to help his injured girlfriend. Police say he grabbed the gun of one of the arresting officers, but other witnesses claim he was handcuffed. The shooting is currently being investigated by state and federal authorities.

Black Lives Matter Minneapolis had previously issued demands on their Facebook page:

• Prosecution of the cops who murdered Jamar Clark
• Immediate release of the (video) tapes
• Federal domestic terrorism charges against criminals who shot 5 protesters
• Community control and oversight of police

Defendant Noor had told Minnesota Public Radio, “Us not showing up and us not speaking would be the mall winning, yet again, as corporations and police departments and the institutions collude to silence us, that’s not going to happen.”

Noor was also the spokesperson for Black Lives Matters who described the four men who Black Lives Matter protesters said were punched and chased before shooting five protesters as being “escorted” away. That event happened just before Thanksgiving at a makeshift encampment the group had set up outside of a police station. Here are protesters explaining what Noor describes as being “escorted”:

Mall of America had told the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal reported, “We are prepared to use all remedies available to us.”

On this year’s business shopping day of the year, Black Friday, protesters in Chicago shut down Michigan Avenue.


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