Pro-Palestine protesters disrupted Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration Monday.
“Gov. Walz, how can you sit there and memorialize MLK, an anti-war hero, when you’re sending our tax dollars to an apartheid [state] and the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) that trains police officers to kill Black Americans,” a woman yelled during the program.
Protesters disrupted Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz's MLK Day celebration Monday, chanting: "Racist Walz, you can't hide, we charge you with genocide!" pic.twitter.com/Q6OBT5Wb9w
— Alpha News (@AlphaNewsMN) January 16, 2024
The event was held at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts and was the 38th annual MLK Day celebration held by the state.
“Racist Walz, you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide,” several other protesters joined the woman in shouting. Another protester blew a whistle while others could be seen waving what appeared to be scarves and flags over the balcony of the Ordway.
The event featured a “fireside chat” with Dr. Stephanie Burrage, Minnesota’s chief equity officer, a 16-year-old student named Dallas, Caroline Wanga, the former chief diversity & inclusion officer for Target Corp., and Houston White Jr., a local entrepreneur.
Near the end of the fireside chat, Wanga was asked about the phrase “One Minnesota.”
“The work that needs to happen for this state to continue to produce Houstons and Carolines has to be comfortable with the intrusion of equity work and has to understand that self preservation is not the goal,” Wanga said. “I lived here for 30 years so I have earned the right to talk smack about this place.”
She then proceeded to urge Minnesotans to “please stop talking” and focus on taking action instead.
“Minnesotans have this urge to say something to make themselves feel better. Shut up. Stop talking. Get out of the way,” Wanga said. “Cause we got lives to save and things to change and the energy you are spending trying to make yourself feel better is slowing down the path to progress.”