Black Lives Matter Ramps Up Activity During Busy State Fair Season

By Fibonacci Blue from Minnesota, USA (Black Lives Matter protest in St. Paul) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Black Lives Matter and other groups concerned with police use of force are continuing to make their presence known around the Twin Cities area during this busy last full week of summer.

Black Lives Matter Swarms Home of Falcon Heights Mayor

Black Lives Matter St. Paul protesters swarmed the front lawn of Falcon Heights Mayor Peter Lindstrom Thursday night, demanding answers from the mayor regarding the city’s contract with the St. Anthony police department, reports the Pioneer Press. A 30 minute conversation between the protesters and Lindstrom was filmed by Black Lives Matter St. Paul organizer Corydon Nilsson.

The video begins with Rashad Turner, Black Lives Matter organizer and DFL house primary candidate in 65A, saying “It doesn’t feel so good that we’re at your house, does it? No, we’re not going to wait. Everybody needs to see this.”

Lindstrom explained to the protesters that Falcon Heights was in year two of a five year contract with the St. Anthony Police Department, and ending the deal prematurely would mean the city was in breach of contract.

Turner was not pleased with that answer and threatened to come back with more people until Lindstrom gave the crowd “real answers.”

I-94 Rioters Refuse Plea Deal

Nearly all of the 50 Philando Castile protesters charged with third-degree riot for the July 9th shutdown of I-94, a gross misdemeanor, refused to quietly accept a plea deal reports the Pioneer Press. The protesters had also been charged with public nuisance and unlawful assembly. The plea deal would have seen the city drop the riot charge in exchange for guilty pleas to the public nuisance charges. Those taking the deal would have face only a $50 fine and a 30-day stayed jail sentence that would only be served if the committed an offense during a year of unsupervised probation.

Vigils for Castile, Clark and Golden

Meanwhile there will be a vigil held on both Monday August 29, and September 5 from 5-8 p.m. at the site of Philando Castile’s death. The vigils are organized by Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace and Eastside Neighbors for Peace reports the Pioneer Press.

September 3 will see another demonstration, this one organized by two other groups, win Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar and Justice4MarcusGolden. The event, MN State #AintFair – Rally for those murdered by police is scheduled to last from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The two groups are named after Jamar Clark and Marcus Golden, who were shot by police in Minneapolis and St. Paul respectively.

Black Lives Matter and similar organizations are making sure their goals don’t leave the public eye in the past week and going forward.

“Police killings are in the news for a few days or weeks and then are forgotten. We don’t want people to forget,” Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace said in a statement.

Anders Koskinen