Last year, with the full blessing of the mall, thousands congregated in the same rotunda to honor the life of Zach Sobiech, a young white man who died of cancer. “These carols honoring Black youths Tamir Rice and Mike Brown should have been welcomed with same the warmth and spirit of generosity,” said Black Lives Matter – Minneapolis.
Johnson’s statements are raising concerns that the city is advancing the further privatization of a mall that, in fact, is funded by the public.
Despite receiving $250 million in public taxes just in 2013, the Mall of America prohibits public protest on its premises as a matter of policy. The establishment released a statement following Saturday’s protest, stating, “We are extremely disappointed that organizers of (the) Black Lives Matter protest chose to ignore our stated policy and repeated reminders that political protests and demonstrations are not allowed on Mall of America property.”
Protesters are urging supporters to contact mall and city officials and demand they stop wasting “public money protecting profit over people.” Meanwhile, people across social media are tweeting #ChargeMeToo at the Mall of American (@MallOfAmerica) and city of Bloomington (@Bloomington_MN) to protest the criminal proceedings.
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