In the festive season of great tidings and joy, Americans descended on the Mall of America’s rotunda in Bloomington, MN on Saturday afternoon chanting “Black Lives Matter” and “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!”
Minnesota Public Radio gave a snapshot of the day’s events by publishing photos, video and interviews.
According to its first-hand account:
This rally was part of a series of nationwide protests scheduled after police officers were not charged in the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
The Mall of America is considered private property and has banned political demonstrations but that didn’t have any effect on the protesters.
The mall management informed the masses that they were not authorized to demonstrate and they were in clear violation. Choosing to stay would result in arrests.
Captain Mark Stehlik said 25 people were arrested out of the 1,500 demonstrators attending the protests according to mprnews.org
For more breathtaking photos: Protesters disrupt the Mall of America
Members of the group Black Lives Matter Minneapolis said earlier in the week that they had been warned they could be arrested and banned from the mall property for a year, but chose to go through with the protest.
“The mall is a family oriented place and we’re trying to share a peaceful moment in memory of those who have died as a result of police brutality,” Grimm said.
The demonstrators began in the building’s rotunda, then marched outside a blocked a street for about 20 minutes.
Curtis Mayfield Jr. an Iraq War vet, who says he’s the son of the late music legend Curtis Mayfield, was ringing a bell for the Salvation Army. He put it down and joined the crowd.
Instead of chanting “Black Lives Matter,” though, Mayfield made it “All Lives Matter,” MPR News reported.
“My father wrote a song, heaven or ‘hell below, if there’s one, we’re all going to go,'” he said. “We people that are darker than blue, we struggle so much but it’s just the beginning of equality for all life, not just black lives, all lives.”
But he says he supports the protesters’ cause just the same.
Brandt Williams of MPR News heard “This demonstration is not authorized.” He also tweeted out the following final warning to everyone who chose to stay to chant.
Final warning. pic.twitter.com/b1n1HzY7qK
— Brandt Williams (@BrandtMPR) December 20, 2014
“While the was overwhelming in and around the mall’s rotunda, it was tough to hear elsewhere in the building, as the echoes faded down the broad hallways. Some confused shoppers encountered the demonstration while heading for the mall’s east-side parking ramp,” Brandt iterated.
Security officers closed about 80 stores in the east wing during the protest leaving people stuck in sections of the building and its parking ramps.
This demonstration happened at 2 p.m. central standard time, roughly the same time as the execution of the New York Police assassinations.
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