The Mall of America is requesting a county judge bar Black Lives Matter protesters from holding a demonstration inside the mall tomorrow.
On Monday, lawyers for the nation’s largest mall asked Hennepin County Judge Karen Janisch for a restraining order banning demonstrators from the private property amid busy holiday shopping.
Any demonstrators defying the order will be arrested, a letter sent to protest leaders reads.
Attorneys for the mall are additionally asking for an order forcing the group to remove social media posts promoting the event.
“This was widely publicized, that an unlawful demonstration should occur on Wednesday. All we are asking is for the same means to be used to say, ‘Hey this is against the law’ and we are calling it off. That’s all we are asking,” Mall of America attorney Susan Gaertner told CBS Minnesota.
Demonstrators claim the mall’s ban is a restriction on their free speech, despite the fact that Mall of America is private property.
“They are trying to force us to say something that they don’t really have the right to do. This is an attack on not only on Black Lives Matter, but everybody’s rights and the right to speak out,” one Black Lives Matter member said.
On Monday, the group held a meeting for only POC (people of color) to “learn how to support our MOA action” with the ultimate purpose of “dismantling white supremacy and building black liberation.”
Protesters say they will still meet at the mall at 1PM Wednesday no matter what the judge decides.
“One thing that the BLM leaders in the area don’t seem to have invested in is a lawyer,” writes Jazz Shaw for HotAir.com. “The argument they are making is that the Mall of America is somehow ‘public property’ and a suitable venue for protests because the company who built it received tax breaks and other public subsidies when it was constructed. It’s an interesting argument, but unfortunately it was already shut down by the state supreme court almost twenty years go, specifically citing Mall of America as the example.”
Protesters also say the demonstration is part of their demand for Minneapolis police to release video showing the shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark.