Updated Wednesday, Dec. 23, 5:58 p.m. EST: According to a press release put out by several Black Lives Matter chapters, the protests are part of a “Black Xmas” campaign happening in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Declaring Dec. 23 “Black Xmas,” protesters referenced the death of Sandra Bland and cited the militarization of police and economic injustice as some of the reasons behind the campaign.
“Two days ago, a Texas grand jury announced their decision of no indictment in the death of Sandra Bland. This young, vibrant black woman died in police custody, after a racially motivated stop, a brutal arrest, wrongful bail hearing and unlawful detention. We know Sandra Bland could have been any one of us,” wrote the protesters in a press statement released Wednesday.
Said the Black Lives Matter chapters in the release: “Instead of buying gifts to fuel this system, Black Xmas is a day of action to reject the degradation of black families and communities by police, politicians and predatory companies, and declare our inherent worth. We will disrupt business as usual until city, state and federal budgets stop funding black death and start funding black futures.”
Pointing out that more than 300 black people have been killed by the police in 2015, in the statement, the BLM chapters wrote that these deaths are “traumatic reminders of this country’s long pattern of devalued black humanity and state-sanctioned violence. Policing in the United States remains governed by a racist system of racial codes, codified into law and cemented into apartheid practices that deny black humanity and disregard black life. There are no bad apples, the whole system is guilty, and must be transformed from the bottom up, from the outside, in.”
The statement closed, saying that on Black Xmas, “[w]e will not bargain for hollow reforms that continue to alienate us from political and economic participation. We will not entertain an official story that does not include our voices. We demand real, authentic and systemic change, now!”
Black Lives Matter protesters demonstrated inside the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America Wednesday afternoon to draw attention to the police shooting last month of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, who died one day following the shooting.
According to the Associated Press, several protesters gathered for a day of planned protest by the Minnesota chapter of the Black Lives Matter movement. Several protesters walked through the largest mall in the nation during one of the busiest shopping days with their hands raised above their heads. Protesters were asked to leave the Mall of America grounds and were told that their demonstration was illegal.
Some protesters gathered at terminals 1 and 2 of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The Associated Press reports that the highway leading to Terminal 1 was temporarily shut down.
Editor’s note: This story is breaking. Please check back for updates.
Read more at KARE11.