Black Christmas: Black Lives Matter Blocks 405 Freeway

Black Christmas and Black Lives Matter on 405 (Jamilah King / Twitter)
Jamilah King / Twitter

Black Lives Matter spread its Christmas cheer in Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon–one of the busiest travel days of the year–with what it dubbed a “Black XMas” by briefly shutting down the southbound 405 Freeway in Westchester.

The move was part of what activists called “a national day of action” and a national effort to shut down business as usual across America, from shopping malls to airports.

“The message continues to be: There will not be business as usual as long as black lives continue to not matter,” Activist Pete White told the Los Angeles Times.

The southbound freeway lanes were reportedly blocked for about 15 minutes shortly before 1:30 p.m. 

White told the Times that Wednesday’s demonstration in the Bay Area was motivated in part by the L.A. County district attorney’s recent decision not to charge a California Highway Patrol officer who was recorded on tape repeatedly punching a woman, Marlene Pinnock, along the 10 Freeway last summer. Pinnock reportedly received a $1.5 million settlement, which included the officer stepping down from his post.

The activists also painted “Black Lives Matter” and what appeared to be the names of victims on the pavement in red spray paint:

A Bay Area-based Black Lives Matter account posted on Twitter for bail support and a video of the protesters who were apprehended was also posted to social media from a Black Lives Matter-affiliated account:

Bail support needed.

— BLM Bay area (@BLMBAYAREA) December 23, 2015

#BlackLivesMatter no commerce as usual.

— BlackLivesMatter LBC (@BLMLBC) December 23, 2015

In Minneapolis, the Mall of America was briefly invaded by a groups of Black Lives Matter protesters. Organizers reportedly said they wanted to draw attention to the police shooting of Jamar Clark, 24, last month while responding to an assault complaint. Breitbart News’ Lee Stranahan was on the scene and reported that the demonstration was largely a failure.

Back at the #MallofAmerica, cops have successfully moved #BlackLivesMatter protesters to the parking garage. — MundaneMatt (@mundanematt) December 23, 2015

After leaving the mall, the demonstrators reportedly headed over to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, where they blocked roads and caused significant traffic delays, notes NBC.

Organizers had reportedly also planned to occupy majors hubs in Chicago, Washington D.C., and Chattanooga.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz and on Facebook.


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