Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Mall of America Fails Legal Attempt to Stop #BlackLivesMatter Protest; But Judge Bans 3 Members

Black Lives Matter protest in the Mall of America (Dec 2014)
Black Lives Matter protest in the Mall of America (Dec 2014)

*The scheduled Black Lives Matter protest at the Mall of America in Minnesota will go forward as planned on Wednesday (Dec. 23) after a judge denied the venue’s attempt to cancel the demonstration; however, the court agreed to ban three of eight individual members cited in the Mall’s request from attending the protest.

Judge Karen A. Janisch ruled that #BLM members Michael McDowell, Miski Noor, and Kandace Montgomery were barred from participating, because Mall of America “has presented clear evidence and legal support that these individuals intend to engage in a political demonstration, that such conduct would be in violation of the [Mall’s] rights to control its property and persons on its property, and that an injunction prohibiting those individuals from participating in conduct constituting a demonstration on the property…is necessary to prevent an irreparable harm to the Mall of America.”

MOA tried to use those reasons to get eight members it had deemed “leaders” banned from participating, including Lena Gardner, John Doe 1, John Doe 2, John Doe 3 and John Doe 4; but the judge found that their legal jargon applied to just three.

Protesters are demanding the release of videos showing last month’s fatal police shooting of 24-year-old black man Jamar Clark, in Minneapolis. Representatives of the shopping mall, the largest in the U.S., asked a judge to block the overall protest because the rally lacks permission from the mall.

“This is not about free speech. This is not about whether or not these folks have a good cause. Of course they have a good cause,” mall lawyer Susan Gaertner said. “This [is] about where you demonstrate, and you demonstrate in places like this — in a courthouse. Mall of America on Wednesday is a place to take your kids and shop.”

For the record, the Minneapolis #BLM said in several tweets that it would move forward with the protest, no matter how Judge Janisch ruled. No word yet if the three banned #BLM members plan to show up anyway.

In addition to trying to keep the four individually-named and four “John Doe” #BLM members from protesting, the Mall’s temporary restraining order also sought to ban “all of their respective agents, and other persons acting in active concert” from participating, as well as banning them from “soliciting others” to demonstrate on the premises.

Additionally, MOA wanted a judge to order #BLM members to “delete and take down” messages about the planned protest from “Facebook, Twitter and other online messages that encourage others to demonstrate at MOA on Dec. 23, 2015.”

Finally, MOA requested that #BLM members be ordered to “immediately post a message on its Facebook Twitter and text group informing everyone that the event has been cancelled; and to immediately post the injunction order on BLM’s Facebook page.

Judge Janisch denied all of those requests.

Below, her ruling in a nutshell:

Defendants Michael McDowell, Miski Noor, and Kandace Montgomery are enjoined from engaging in any demonstration on the MOA Premises on December 23, 2015, or thereafter, without the express, written permission from MOA Management. For purposes of this Order, “MOA Premises” means the enclosed structure housing the commercial, retail, and entertainment complex known as the Mall of America, located at 60 East Broadway, Bloomington, Minnesota, and the attached skyways and parking facility/ramp. 3.

All other requests relating to additional terms for a temporary restraining order requested by Plaintiff are DENIED, at this time.

Read the entire ruling below:

MOA v BLM TRO Order by Minnesota Public Radio

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