Mall of America, the largest mall in the United States is taking the controversial activist group Black Lives Matter to court, seeking a temporary restraining order to keep its members from demonstrating on its premises during the busiest shopping season of the year.
The group has planned a demonstration for Wednesday, to demand that authorities release video relative to the death of Jamar Clark, 24, who was shot and killed by Minneapolis police on November 15, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Mall of America is seeking to avoid an incident similar to one last year, when 3,000 Black Lives Matter protesters descended on and chanted at the Bloomington, Minnesota mall, forcing businesses to close.
A hearing on the mall’s motion is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Monday in Hennepin County District Court.
The Star Tribune reported:
Beyond barring the protest, the mall’s request filed Friday would also require organizers to remove posts with plans of the demonstration from social media and to send out notifications that the event has been canceled. The mall, which is privately owned and doesn’t allow protests, contends that another demonstration would mean more lost sales for its vendors.
“Mall of America supports BLM’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,” the mall’s attorney wrote.
The Black Lives Matters organizers disagree.
“The Mall America continues to seek to bar free speech for the community on its premises,” Black Lives Matter said. “The Mall of America has now taken the further outrageous and totalitarian step of attempting to control the speech of individuals.”
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