Activists from the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at the Mall of America near Minneapolis, Minn., for a planned high-profile protest before being taking their demonstration to the light rail train station and the Minneapolis airport.
“The mall was a decoy,” said Black Lives Matter organizer Miski Noor, who protested at the airport. “I think it was really effective.”
An hour before the protests were set to begin, authorities began to barricade the East wing of the mall and various stores began to lockdown.
All stores closing @mallofamerica for “a couple hours” according to one shop owner. pic.twitter.com/7atctzCWpd
— bouaxiong (@bouaKARE) December 23, 2015
Rotunda at #mallofamerica clearing. Police readying to arrest, if necessary. Order to arrest given. pic.twitter.com/Sf9kJsTalX
— Doualy Xaykaothao (@DoualyX) December 23, 2015
Local Black Lives Matter organizers planned the Wednesday demonstration to raise awareness and pressure authorities to release video footage of last month’s deadly police shooting of Jamar Clark, a black man from Minneapolis. Last week, mall officials tried to seek a restraining order on protesters, but a judge only barred three organizers from attending.
Using the hashtags #Justice4Jamar and #BlackXmas2, protesters and citizen journalists reported on the large police presence and Orwellian security measures.
12:45 — barricades going up around the East Rotunda. #BlackXmas2 #Justice4Jamar #JamarClark #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/YWvr7wqguQ
— Scott Heins (@scottheins) December 23, 2015
New decorations at @mallofamerica #BlackXmas2 pic.twitter.com/7f4ngGVYm3 — Asiniiwiikwe (@ziibiing) December 23, 2015
— Asiniiwiikwe (@ziibiing) December 23, 2015
Three were arrested for trespassing and one individual was arrested for trespassing and disorderly conduct. Approximately 80 stores were closed for about an hour while law enforcement officers escorted protesters out of the mall. Protestors then headed to the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport, while others to the light rail.
Black lives matter protesters have followed instruction onto light rail from mall with no info on destination pic.twitter.com/MqXIMCZsyx
— Angela Jimenez (@AngelaSnappy) December 23, 2015
Crowd inside Mpls airport, police coming #BlackXmas #Justice4Jamar pic.twitter.com/huUiqE7kt5
— Brandon Long (@BLongStPaul) December 23, 2015
A similar protest last year held at the Mall of America, drew more than 2,000 people, according to the Associated Press.
In addition to Minnesota, #BlackXmas protests were planned for the San Francisco Bay area, Chicago and Los Angeles.