While many are preparing for the holiday break, one activist group shows no signs of slowing down. On Wednesday, Black Lives Matter protested at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport after first demonstrating at the nearby Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. The latest showing, which temporarily shut down airport traffic and disrupted Christmas shopping in full flux at America's biggest mall, was to remember Jamar Clark, a black Minneapolis resident who died last month after being shot by police.
On Nov. 15, police responded to an assault complaint that allegedly involved Clark and his girlfriend. According to police, as EMTs attempted to help his girlfriend, Clark reportedly interfered, sparking a struggle with police, during which he was shot. However, witnesses told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that Clark was already handcuffed and being taken away when he was shot. A day after, Clark was taken off of life support and died.
It's because of Clark's death that hundreds of protesters descended upon the Mall of America at around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. Mall officials quickly told the crowd to disperse and notified those in attendance that the gathering was illegal on private property. There, police arrested four demonstrators — three for trespassing and one for trespassing and disorderly conduct — according to ABC News. For an hour, around 80 stores were closed in the immediate area of the demonstration.
At the airport, at least one terminal was shut down for about two hours, according to USA Today. The freeway that leads into the airport was also blocked. BBC reports that a total of 15 people were detained at both locations.
For these protesters, the message is clear: black lives matter, especially those who are missing this holiday season.