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Mall of America Attempts to Bar Black Lives Matter Protestors

Photo: Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

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The Mall of America is attempting to stop a Black Lives Matter demonstration today in the mall by issuing a restraining order, Vox reports. Black Lives Matter protesters demonstrated at the Minnesota mall last year, causing some 80-odd stores to shut their doors temporarily. Hoping to stop protestors this year, the Mall of America requested that a judge block organizers and force them to cancel the event as well as take down social media posts regarding it. Fox News reports that the Mall of America sought for all protestors to be banned, however, only three organizers have been officially blocked by the judge.

"The Court does not have a sufficient basis to issue an injunction as to Black Lives Matter or to unidentified persons who may be acting as its agents or in active concert with the Black Lives Matter movement," the judge wrote in her ruling.

The judge also denied the mall's request that social media posts be deleted. Despite being banned, and the mall's warning, Black Lives Matter organizers says the group will still protest today, according to Reuters.

"Restraining order or not, on the day before Christmas Eve, protesters will assemble at the Mall of America; there will be cameras; and millions will be watching," the group wrote on Facebook yesterday. "What happens next will tell us volumes about who we are as a society."

While last year's protest was peaceful and organized, the mall put forth multiple warnings that demonstrators were at risk of being arrested if they did not leave — 25 people were eventually arrested. The mall also sought $40,000 from the organization, claiming that it lost a great deal of money when stores had to be shut down as well as an "incalculable loss of goodwill." That lawsuit was dropped in November.

The Mall of America argues it does have basis to block the protests because it is private property, despite the fact the government financed 25% of the mall's construction costs. The Supreme Court of Minnesota decided this wasn't enough to make the mall a public forum.