The Mall of America is suing protesters with the Black Lives Matter group in order to prevent a planned December 23 protest within its walls. This Bloomington, Minnesota, mall, which is the largest shopping location in the United States, has filed for a court order protecting it against both BLM protesters as a whole as well as eight key individuals for their role in planning an on-site protest there tomorrow, according to the Washington Post.
“Mall of America supports [Black Lives Matter’s] First Amendment right to free expression, but courts have clearly ruled that right may not be exercised on private property without the consent of the property owner,” noted the mall in its request for a temporary restraining order. “To protect Mall of America’s guests, tenants, and employees, this consent has not been given, and if [Black Lives Matter] holds its demonstration at Mall of America despite the lack of consent, Mall of America will suffer irreparable harm.”
Despite the fact that no judge has weighed in on the matter, Black Lives Matter organizer Miski Noor, who was named in the filing, issued the following response to the mall suing protesters.
“The people have a right to show up, we have a right to say what our message is, we have a right to speak out. Us not showing up and us not speaking would be the mall winning, yet again, as corporations and police departments and the institutions collude to silence us, that’s not going to happen.”
The mall protests come in the aftermath of the death of 24-year-old James Clark at the hands of Minneapolis police in November. After his death, according to the Washington Post, protesters gathered to camp out in front of the city’s fourth police precinct.
The protestor group, which was formed out of the tragic incidents that occurred in Ferguson, Missouri, last year, has been much debated. Some feel that Black Lives Matter allows many to see issues related to African Americans and the way they are treated by law enforcement, whereas others feel the group unjustly promotes violence.
The Mall of America is physically the largest mall in the United States, spanning 4.2 million square feet and includes several restaurants, 520 stores, and its own in-house amusement park.
[Image by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images]