Mall of America threatens ‘Idle No More’ organizers with arrest, promises ‘additional actions’ to ‘prohibit… gathering’ if New Year’s Eve Round Dance proceeds
Duluth, MN: Various organizers identified by the `Mall of America’ management team as being connected with the `Idle No More’ movement have received letters from the mall indicating the mall “…will utilize additional actions… including trespassing the organizers of the protest” (emphasis added) should a flash mob Round Dance recur there on New Year’s Eve this year.
Idle No More Duluth organizer Reyna Crow was one of several people who received the letter on Christmas Eve. “The characterization of the Round Dance as a protest is not only incorrect, it is insulting”, says Crow, “If the Idle No More flash mob Round Dance that was held there last year is a `protest’, so are the Christmas carols and the other flash mob events that have been held there”.
Crow is inviting a representative of the `Mall of America’ management to join her and Patricia Shepard, who also received the letter, at a news conference at the Mall of America on December 31st at 3:00 pm. Crow plans to use the designated `free speech zone’ there to discuss her concerns that the apparent singling out of organizers associated with Indigenous people and issues for threats of arrest and/or other intimidation over flash mobs events at the mall.
According to Shepard “During the 1837 treaty signing, which include the lands where the MOA is located, the Ojibwe received $24,000 in cash, goods and services, retaining rights to use the land for hunting, fishing and other purposes. Other purposes means to gather at any location, whether that location be private or public. The MOA location is within those treaty territories outlined in the 1837 Treaty. The MOA is in violation of the 1837 Treaty obligations to the Dakota and Ojibwe by threatening to trespass us on our ceded territories. We have a right to gather anywhere within those territories which was agreed upon by the US Government “. (http://treatiesmatter.org/treaties/land/1837-ojibwe-dakota)
Who: Reyna Crow, Patricia Shepard, Mall of American management invited and urged to attend
When: Dec 31, 2013 3:00 pm
Where: Mall of America
What: News Conference and Rally
Why: To respond publicly to Mall of America’s threats to arrest Idle No More organizers, and the unequal treatment of Indigenous organizers in ceded territory.
Letter sent to Reyna Crow and other INM organizers by the Mall of America