Enough Is Enough: Hold 'Black Lives Matter' Accountable
You wake excited to gather your family and head to the airport. It's the day before Christmas Eve, and you're about to travel across the country to meet loved ones not seen since the previous year. You leave the house with plenty of time to spare. Everything's going according to plan. Then you get to the airport.
It's jammed, not with fellow travelers, but with political protesters engaged in an unauthorized demonstration. "No justice! No peace!" they shout, holding aloft signs reading "Black Lives Matter." You soon realize that the crowd of agitators has overwhelmed law enforcement. The protesters bar your access to the airport. You miss your flight.
This was the experience of countless travelers meant to depart the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport on Wednesday as trespassers organized by Black Lives Matter Minneapolis streamed onto the premises. The protesters had been delivered by light rail trains originating from the Mall of America. The mall had been the announced target of the movement's demonstration. But that announcement had been a diversion. The real target had been the airport.
Wednesday's melee followed days of preparation and legal drama. After BLM announced their intention to protest at the Mall of America, the mall's management reiterated that protest was not allowed on their premise. The standoff proved similar to events a year prior, when BLM had invaded the mall on the Saturday before Christmas. That incident had led to several criminal charges against protest organizers, most of which were dropped by a Hennepin County judge. The ruling in that case indicated that the mall had not done enough to prevent the incursion. From station KMSP in Minneapolis:
The judge [noted] that the mall seemed to allow the demonstration for the first half hour by not issuing any explicit orders to leave. And that the MOA did not pursue any court action before the protest to enjoin the demonstration.
If approved by a Hennepin County judge, activists would be prohibited from engaging, soliciting or encouraging any demonstration on mall property on Wednesday, and also be required to purge details of their scheduled rally from social media.
Alas, the judge rejected the mall's request, opting only to bar three specific BLM organizers from participating in the demonstration. We saw on Wednesday how ineffective that restriction was. Since restraining orders and other legal means have failed to protect property and infrastructure, it seems clear that a new approach is called for. Innocents can no longer be allowed to suffer the abuse of Black Lives Matter.
Agitators operating under the banner of Black Lives Matter have repeatedly broken the law. They have done so at the direction of organizers who buffer themselves from accountability by leveraging the limitations of law enforcement. Consider this New York Times report on the restraining order recently granted by a Hennepin County judge:
The decision bars three of the organizers — Michael McDowell, Miski Noor and Kandace Montgomery — from participating in the protest. Black Lives Matter has vowed to go forward with the demonstration as planned. The mall’s complaint had included the group itself as a defendant, but Judge Karen A. Janisch of Hennepin County ruled that it was not an entity capable of being sued.
“The Court does not have a sufficient basis to issue an injunction as to Black Lives Matters (sic) or to unidentified persons who may be acting as its agents or in active concert with the Black Lives Matters movement,” she wrote.
Because BLM is not a legal entity, it cannot be effectively restrained. There is no headquarters to raid, no officers to censure, no assets to seize. This is by design. By keeping the organization informal, its collective actions cannot be attributed to its leaders. In the eyes of the law, every person acting at the behest of Black Lives Matter is acting individually.
This presents the Mall of America and other private venues with a logistically impossible task, individually trespassing BLM protesters one at a time. There's nothing else they can do, no other protection the law provides. Under the status quo, property rights are not protected. Furthermore, public infrastructure like interstate freeways, airports, and police precincts are vulnerable to coordinated disruptions by organizers who are not held accountable.