The nation’s largest shopping mall is seeking a temporary restraining order against members of the Black Lives Matter movement to curb a planned protest scheduled to be held exactly a year after a large group succeeded in interrupting one of the biggest shopping days of last season.
Officials at the Mall of America in Minnesota asked a judge Monday to cancel the event because the “rally lacks permission from the mall,” the Huffington Post reports. Officials also sought to obtain temporary restraining orders against eight members of the BLM group in Minneapolis. Both attempts are seen by the group as “unconstitutional.”
“The Mall [of] America continues to seek to bar free speech for the community on its premises despite receiving hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies, which it has used to appropriate the traditional public forum in service of its own corporate profit,” a statement from the group’s Facebook page read. “The Mall of America has now taken the further outrageous and totalitarian step of attempting to control the speech of individuals.”
The planned protest was organized to call for the release of video showing the police killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark.
From the BLM Minneapolis Facebook page:
Although they destroyed our occupation, they will not destroy our spirits. If we don’t get justice for Jamar Clark and Black Minnesotans, we will return to the Mall of America.
A year after our first Mall of America action, we have not seen nearly enough progress in our state. Last month, Jamar Clark, a young black man, was shot in the head by police while handcuffed, according to witness testimony, prompting an 18 day occupation of the 4th Precinct that was bulldozed by police.
We have endured an armed white supremacist terrorist attack where five of us were shot; police violence in the form of mace, batons, and less lethal projectiles; over 50 arrests on highway 94 and at the 4th Precinct; and freezing temperatures, to demand justice for Jamar Clark. If it’s not clear yet: We won’t stop until we get it.
Mall representatives are asking that the group cancel the protest and delete social media posts promoting the demonstration. Karen Janisch, the judge reviewing the case, said she would decide on the matter “quickly,” the Post writes.
Wednesday’s demonstration, if permitted, comes a year after more than 1,500 activists staged a die-in at the mall to bring awareness to police violence in the wake of the deaths of Michael Brown Jr., Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, John Crawford, and more.