The Black Liberation Project (BLP) shouted down Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges last night while she was speaking at an MLK Day event organized by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. The BLP group met at The Exchange: Queer Community Space, part of the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition, in Minneapolis on Chicago Avenue before heading to the event, according to their Facebook page. See video at the end of this article.
BLP’s mission statement reads: “We believe in radical self-love. We believe in living instead of surviving; thriving instead of dying. Our project is proactive and visionary, not reactionary.” 21-year-old Jobi Adams, the co-founder of the group, was recently featured by the Star Tribune in a cover story on the “New Generation of Twin Cities Black Leaders.” Jobe’s Twitter feed is full of vulgarity and she uses the “N” word, but the Star Tribune featured a different side asking, “What is a misconception of “the movement”? Adam’s reply, “A big one is that people think that we just want to be angry.” The statement contradicts somewhat with the tactics at yesterday’s demonstration. Adams has been raising funds to send members of her group to the “Creating Change” conference in Chicago, “the largest LGBTQIA Conference in North America.”
About a dozen protesters with BLP got up on the stage with Hodges and shouted “If Jamar don’t get it, shut it down!” and an individual angrily confronted Hodges on the stage yelling, “Liberal, liberal, you’re a hypocrite…Get off the stage! Get off the stage!”
Protesters are continuing to demand that video be released from the November 15th incident involving Jamar Clark, who was shot and killed after reportedly interfering with EMT personnel during a domestic assault call. After two weeks of allowing “Justice for Jamar” protesters to block the street and agitate outside the 4th police precinct in Minneapolis, Hodges and other Democrat leaders like Congressman Keith Ellison called for police to clear the protest in late November. Just ten days prior, Ellison had joined controversial Minneapolis City Council member Alondra Cano, to show solidarity with the protesters and call for a release of the Jamar Clark video reported WCCO.
Governor Mark Dayton has been asking the legislature to hold a special session ahead of its regular session, which begins in March, and one of the issues he wants addressed is racial disparities in the state. He wants to give $15 million for non-specific measures to address inequities between black and white Minnesotans.
Here’s a look at the action on Twitter including a Tweet early this morning by Mayor Hodges: