Last December, 1000 Black Lives Matter protestors took over the Mall of America, and now the mall is attempting to file a restraining order against a protest scheduled for December 23.
MOA’s restraining order names BLM leaders Michael McDowell, Miski Noor, Lena Gardner, Kandace Montgomery and four others named only as John Does 1 through 4 as defendants. And according to the restraining order, last years protest led to its tenants suffering irreparable harm, including reduced guests and sales.
The mall’s restraining order requests states that it is a private commercial property that prohibits “all forms of protest, demonstration and public debate.” The restraining order requests that a judge prohibits the protest, and prohibit the organizers from encouraging the protest, and require them to post the legal document on their social media accounts.
“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. This about where you demonstrate. And you demonstrate in places like this. In a court-house. Mall of America on Wednesday is a place to take your kids and shop,” Mall attorney Susan Gaertner said.
But BLM activists don’t plan on backing down.
“We’re not going to be canceling the protest. No 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. And us not showing up and us not speaking would be the mall winning,” said Miski Noor.
“We think it is unconstitutional because it is too broad,” said Charles Samuelson, Minnesota Civil Liberties Union. “They want to restrict all sorts of speech. They want to censor basically social media. and it is unconstitutional because they’re going after speech.”
“Part of me feels that if the Mall of America had simply said come on down from 1 to 3 on Wednesday, have your demonstration and shop at the mall, two things would happen: way fewer people would turn out and they’d make some money,” Samuelson added.
A ruling is expected to come on Tuesday.