Black Lives Matter St. Paul plans to demonstrate at the Rosedale shopping center on Sunday to pressure the city of Falcon Heights into terminating its contract with St. Anthony police, the department responsible for Philando Castile’s death during a traffic stop last week.
The 1 p.m. demonstration will be held at an undisclosed location inside the mall, so authorities won’t be able to fully prepare for it, organizers said.
“Lets shut it down,” read the post on the group’s Facebook page. “lets hit them where it hurt$.”
Activists warned those planning to attend the protest not to bring signs, just their voices.
Calls to the Roseville mall’s general manager seeking comment were not immediately returned.
Some Falcon Heights residents demanded the city cut ties with the St. Anthony Police Department during an emotional City Council meeting Wednesday, where council members urged constituents to let the investigation play out before making any decision about the contract. The two cities are in the second year of their current five-year contract.
A vague ‘Day of Rage’
On Friday, at least 36 U.S. cities are expected to participate in a so-called “Day of Rage,” meant for citizens to stand up to “corrupted authority” and police brutality, according to the international activist hacker group Anonymous Legion.
The group released a five-minute video online this week encouraging Americans to engage in civil disobedience in the name of Alton Sterling and Castile, black men killed by police. Dozens of cities from Seattle to Boston could see protests between 4 and 7 p.m. Friday.
Although the group said Minneapolis’ gathering will take place outside Urban League headquarters on Plymouth Avenue, league officials say they were not contacted for permission to use their property and do not sanction any such event.
“We’re opposed to the very idea of a ‘day of rage,’ ” said Urban League President Steven Belton. “We think ‘rage’ is the antithesis of what we need right now. What we need right now is compassion, understanding and dialogue. Rage is uncontrolled anger, and if there was ever a time for control, it’s right now.”
Local Black Lives Matter activists also said Thursday night that they knew nothing about the “Day of Rage” event.
Anonymous Legion’s video condemned any form of rioting or violence. (“Your local 7-Eleven or Dollar Tree did not cause the deaths of these young men,” it said.) It also denounced last week’s fatal shooting of five Dallas police officers.
Liz Sawyer • 612-673-4648