Black Lives Matter organizers say their announced protest at the Mall of America was a “planned diversion” and a “decoy.” Their real goal was the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport. Protesters did show up at the nation’s largest shopping mall Wednesday afternoon, but they quickly left and boarded trains for a quick trip to the nearby MSP airport where they blocked traffic and caused delays at both of the airports
As proof that the airport action was planned and not just an adlib, Black Lives Matter points to a tweet with a video showing protesters blocking a road at MSP airport. The group says the 2:05pm timestamp proves it had protesters in place at the airport while others were still on the train. The protest at the mall began around 1:30pm. View tweet and video here.
The group says the action was part of a six city nationally coordinated plan. Other areas that had protests today were near Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Chattanooga.
In Minneapolis the action was spurred by the police shooting of Jamar Clark in November. Black Lives Matters has a list of demands related to the shooting including investigators releasing video. Organizers say roads at the airport terminals were blocked to protest “Islamophobia and anti-black racism in airport policing.” A press release sent out after the action said “we protest the airport’s discriminatory profiling practices against Black people and anyone who is perceived to be Muslim, as part of a larger system that continues to kill and harm Black people without any justice.”
A new demand the group has added asks to “disinvest from police and reinvest in Black futures.” The Minneapolis City Council recently tabled a last-minute plan to transfer $605,000 for police “safety and accessibility improvements” after Black Lives Matters supporters complained loudly about the plan.
Press release from Black Lives Matter
MOA Decoy Action Results in Shutdown of Two Airport Terminals, Light Rail, MOA
Today we shut down the Mall of America, Minneapolis Airport, and light rail as part of a nationally coordinated protest. Actions happened in six U.S. cities, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, the SF Bay Area, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Chattanooga. After a planned diversion at the mall, we moved to the airport 5 minutes before the action was scheduled to begin.
We protest the continued unmitigated state sanctioned violence against Black people and communities of color. We protest the continued denial of justice for Black people and Black communities. We want a complete overhaul of the justice system both locally and nationally. Just days after the non-indictment decision in Sandra Bland’s murder in Texas and two months after the fatal police shooting of Jamar Clark in Minnesota, we continue to demand justice, including the release of the tapes in the Jamar Clark case. Grand juries do not get justice for Black people when they are murdered by police, this is just one way the system is setup and works against Black people. We also continue to make the following demands:
-Prosecute the police involved without a grand jury and by a special prosecutor
-Federal domestic terrorism charges against white supremacists who shot 5 protestors
-Institute a safety plan to protect our communities from Police violence
-Disinvest from police and reinvest in Black futures
We blocked entrances at both terminals of the airport to also protest Islamophobia and anti-black racism in airport policing. We protest the airport’s discriminatory profiling practices against Black people and anyone who is perceived to be Muslim, as part of a larger system that continues to kill and harm Black people without any justice. The continued relentless violence against Black people is appalling and morally repugnant. The fact that Black people get constantly harassed by police forces at every level, local and federal, in airports, malls, and on the streets of America is no longer acceptable. The fact that too many are tried, sentenced, and executed with no justice on the streets is why we protest. We will continue to protest until we get justice for Jamar Clark, until the tapes are released and the rest of our demands are met. We will not give up and we will not give in. Until there is justice, there will be no peace. 2016 is coming, so are we. #blacklivesmatter #blackxmas