January 02, 2014

Mall of America called "racist"

Mall of America called ‘racist’ for arresting Native American women before protest

By David EdwardsTwo Native American women say that they were arrested at the Mall of America in Minnesota on New Year’s Day for attempting to have a traditional cultural celebration that the officials interpreted as a protest.

The women, who are part of the activist group Idle No More, have called the mall’s action’s discriminatory.

“All we wanted to do is have the same equal access to the mall as other flash mobs have been here,” Idle No More Minnesota activist Patricia Shepard said after her arrest.
And:Officials at the Mall of America called the 2012 Idle No More event “extremely disruptive” and forbid the activists from staging a similar event on New Year’s Day.

Reyna Crow, one of the woman who were arrested, insisted that the demonstration was more about sharing Native American culture than protesting.

“It’s a friendship dance,” she said.

“Singling out one particular group of people and telling them that they’re not welcome to have a positive family event, a gesture of friendship and healing in the Mall when so many other cultural groups are welcomed is to me absolutely appalling,” Crow explained.
Mall Of America Bans Native American Activists From Performing Tribal Dance

By Sarah FruchtnichtWe don't allow protests in Mall of America and haven't in 21 years," said Maureen Bausch, Executive Vice President of Business Development, told KARE 11. "It clearly did not have to happen."

Mall of American says it told the group repeatedly that it would not be allowed to perform at the mall again this year.

“Any other group seems to be welcome in the Mall of America,” said Idle No More attorney Jordan Kushner.

"They're not allowed to discriminate. So they're treating this Native American group differently," said attorney Jordan Kushner.

"It's a friendship dance," argued activist Reyna Crow, of Idle No More – Duluth, who was arrested when she refused to leave. She said the group organized “a dance of renewed relationships, deeply connected to Mother Earth, Medicine Waters and in the spirit of all people of all walks of life joining in one circle of friendship and peace, and certainly not a protest.”

"If you look at the website for Idle No More, it is an activist group. It is a protest. It is a demonstration," Bausch said.

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