'Black Lives Matter' Protest Shuts Mall, Airport, Terminal

Flights were delayed at Minneapolis airport
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2015 2:11 AM CST
'Black Lives Matter' Protest Shuts Mall, Airport, Terminal
Law enforcement is seen in the ground-level transport area at the Mall of America.   (Leila Navidi/Star Tribune via AP)

Hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters shut down America's biggest mall on Wednesday in what an organizer says was just a decoy for a protest that shut down an airport terminal. The protesters gathered at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., where they were met by hundreds of police officers, before some of them took public transit to Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport, where they blocked a road to a terminal and delayed several flights, the New York Times reports. Authorities say airport traffic returned to normal by Wednesday evening. Around 80 stores at the mall were closed for about an hour during the protest, which organizers said was to highlight the fatal police shooting of unarmed black man Jamar Clark last month, the AP reports.

The mall, which was targeted amid nationwide Black Lives Matter protests last December, "was a decoy," organizer Miski Noor tells the AP. "I think it was really effective." "We accomplished exactly what we came here to accomplish—we wanted to shut down the highway, shut down the airport, and show solidarity with other Black Lives Matter groups," protest organizer Michelle Barnes tells the Star Tribune. The protests remained largely peaceful, with no injuries or property damage reported, though police say 15 people were arrested at the mall and the airport on charges including trespassing, the AP reports. (Read more Black Lives Matter stories.)

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