Hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters disrupted Mall of America shopping, light rail trains and airport traffic on Wednesday after moving demonstrations from the mall to outside Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
“We raised the bar,” said Pastor Danny Givens of Above Every Name Church in St. Paul after protesting outside Terminal 1. “We let the nation and the world know that black lives matter.”
After filling the mall rotunda, warnings from the mall that they would be arrested prompted demonstrators to move the protest to nearby light rail trains, taking the Blue Line to the airport’s Terminal 2 (Humphrey), chanting from a stairwell outside the terminal since police blocked them from entering. The airport shut down security checkpoints at Terminal 2 for about 30 minutes in case protesters made it inside the airport, also preventing passengers from getting through.
Other protesters arrived at Terminal 1 (Lindbergh), stopping traffic and joining hands as they chanted “black lives, they matter here.” The Hwy. 5 entrance to Terminal 1 was shut down for a short period of time before police moved in to arrest some protesters.
“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,” said Michelle Barnes of Minneapolis, one of the protest organizers, outside Terminal 1.