Black Lives Matter (BLM) protestors have vowed to go through with a controversial protest at the Mall of America rotunda on December 23, 2015- just two days before Christmas. The Mall of America (MOA) has moved quickly to try and stop the protest.
“The Mall of America continues to seek to bar free speech for the community on its premises despite receiving hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies”
On Monday, December 21 Hennepin County Judge Karen Janisch heard a request for a temporary restraining order seeking to block the the BLM protest. MOA was seeking to prevent and prohibit BLM protestors from their property and from posting online messages to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
On Monday, BLM Minneapolis protesters posted this comment to Facebook:
In an unprecedented attempt at halting a peaceful gathering, the Mall of America has sued 8 activists to compel them to “immediately” post messages on social media and send out a mass text message announcing that the December 23rd event is cancelled.
Organizers have no plans to halt the demonstration unless authorities release the tapes related to Jamar Clark’s case, prosecute police without a grand jury by special prosecutor, and bring federal terrorism charges against white supremacists who shot five protesters during the occupation.
You’re probably wondering, can they protest on private property? For protestors that practice civil disobedience, it doesn’t matter. As a rule, the First Amendment doesn’t give you the right to engage in free-speech activities on private property unless you own or lease it. However, shopping malls may be the exception to the rule. In California, the courts recognize that malls are the modern-day equivalent of public squares, because they have common areas that would function to “invite the public to meet, congregate, or engage in other activities typical of a public forum.” California will protect your freedom of speech rights in privately-owned shopping centers as long as your activity doesn’t interfere with any other businesses.
But, that doesn’t matter because in the 1998 ruling of Minnesota vs Freeman, the State Supreme Court ruled that constitutional free speech does not apply at the privately-owned mall. This Black Lives Matter protest would therefore be considered trespassing based on the Supreme Court ruling.
— KurvyKurly (@klmontgom) December 21, 2015
— Black Lives MPLS (@BlackLivesMpls) December 22, 2015
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