Black Lives Matter protesters shut down the Mall of America on Wednesday afternoon after a judge ruled that the mall couldn’t ban their protest. Hundreds of protesters demonstrated over the lack of charges for officers involved in the November shooting of Jamar Clark, yet another in a list of young Black individuals dead after an incident with the police. The Associated Press reports that the rally began in the mall’s rotunda, where protesters chanted the slogan, “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!” Protesters were met inside the mall by police and security guards. Electronic signs warned them that they were on private property and could be subject to arrest. Demonstrators posted images on social media of the scene inside the mall.
Public announcement tells #BlackLivesMatter protesters to leave private property immediately. Shoppers staring. pic.twitter.com/ceQYHxDnAW— Doualy Xaykaothao (@DoualyX) December 23, 2015
LIVE #BlackXmas2 #MallofAmerica shutdown over police murder of #JamarClark https://t.co/HpqNxHQDZu via @UR_Ninja pic.twitter.com/QTPDakUnob— agitator in chief (@soit_goes) December 23, 2015
On Tuesday, the mall sought a court order to prevent the planned protest, which would impede shoppers and cause businesses to lose money on one of the final days before the Christmas holiday. On Tuesday evening, a judge ruled that the protesters could not be banned as a group because Black Lives Matter is not a legal entity. However, he allowed the mall to ban three of the leaders of the protest. Demonstrators remained in the Mall of America for about an hour and a half. After leaving the mall, protesters continued on to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, where they blocked traffic and chanted, “Black lives, they matter here.” One of the organizers of the protest, Kandace Montgomery, told the Associated Press that the protest is intended to disturb commerce during the busy Christmas season. "When you disrupt their flow of capital…they actually start paying attention," she said.