1/20/15 Open Letter of Support for Black Lives Matter Movement Signed by nearly 80 professors and law experts

Signed by nearly 80 professors and law experts, open letter of support for Black Lives Matter Minneapolis issued, urging City of Bloomington to drop charges. Standing in unity with law professor and community leader Nekima Levy-Pounds, and all the organizers charged, the statement agrees that the charges are political persecution and a waste of tax payer dollars. #BlackLivesMatter

Statement of Support for Black Lives Matter Movement

The recent activities and aspirations of the Black Lives Matter movement have shown the country and the world how we can truly honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his non-violent work toward a just and equitable society. As educators and researchers, we understand the hard work that is currently needed to overcome the many challenges and obstacles that prevent every community and every person from being treated with dignity and respect, from having racial justice, and from living in safe and peaceful conditions. We the undersigned therefore strongly support the aims and actions of the Black Lives Matter movement. We support their courageous work toward a world where all people live securely, with freedom and justice.

At the same time, those who are privileged enough to have resources and power in our society should put them to use to move our country in the direction of achieving the goals that Dr. King and countless other activists have struggled towards. This is the work that the Black Lives Matter movement carries on today. It is for this reason that we are deeply disappointed in the City of Bloomington’s decision to use its considerable power to actually add to the obstacles that are blocking the movement toward a better, more peaceful, and more just society. We urge the City of Bloomington to drop all charges against those who participated in the recent peaceful protest at the Mall of America.

We stand united with University of St. Thomas Law Professor Nekima Levy Pounds, one of the protesters charged by the City of Bloomington, when she writes in the Star Tribune (1/16/15):

“#BlackLivesMpls organized a nonviolent, peaceful demonstration at the Mall of America (MOA) in Bloomington, one of the most visible locations in the country. On December 20, 2014, 3,000 people from all walks of life descended upon MOA to sing, chant, and to remind the world that #BlackLivesMatter. Rather than welcome the demonstrators into MOA, we were met by police in riot gear. In spite of the demonstration being peaceful, roughly two dozen people were arrested, stores were shut down by mall security and police, and exits were sealed. What started as a demonstration of Dr. King’s vision of the ‘beloved community,’ became a reminder of what Dr. King warned could destroy our nation: The triple giants of racism, militarism, and extreme materialism. All three of those giants were present that day at MOA and they set out to crush the spirits of ‘the little guy.'”

And we fully agree with Prof. Levy-Pound’s conclusion about the City of Bloomington’s charges:

“This amounts to political persecution and is a gross misuse of prosecutorial discretion and a waste of taxpayer dollars. Thankfully, these intimidation tactics will not be effective in shutting down our movement. Our voices will only grow stronger in the process.”

We urge each and every person who supports the goal of creating a peaceful and just society to raise their voice in support of the protesters.

All institutional affiliations below are provided solely for identification purposes and do not imply institutional support or endorsement.

Morgan Adamson, Macalester College

Cara Anthony, University of St. Thomas

Peter Balaam, Carleton College

Katharine Bjork, Hamline University

Kristin Bloomer, Carleton College

Bruce Braun, University of Minnesota

Kathleen M. “Kate” Boyle, University of St. Thomas

Rose Brewer, University of Minnesota

Arnab Chakladar, Carleton College

Anita Chikkatur, Carleton College

Anna Clark, University of Minnesota

Stephanie Cox, Carleton College

Erik W. Davis, Macalester College

Jigna Desai, University of Minnesota

Bob Dobrow, Carleton College

Paul Dosh, Macalester College

Louise Edwards-Simpson, St. Catherine University

Adriana Estill, Carleton College

Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg, Carleton College

Cynthia J. Fraction, University of St. Thomas

Shelley Neilsen Gatti, University of St. Thomas

Ruthann Godollei, Macalester College

Teresa Gowan, University of Minnesota

Mari Ann Graham, University of St. Thomas

Arjun Guneratne, Macalester College

Laura Anne Haave, Carleton College

K.C. Harrison, University of Minnesota

John Holst, University of St. Thomas

Sharon M. Howell, University of St. Thomas

Colette A. Hyman, Winona State University

Annette Igra, Carleton College

Allen Isaacman, University of Minnesota

Leola Johnson, Macalester College

Helena Kaufman, Carleton College

Mike Klein, University of St. Thomas

Mary Jo Klinker, Winona State University

Brendan LaRocque, Carleton College

David Todd Lawrence, University of St. Thomas

Jessica Leiman, Carleton College

Rebecca Lowen, Metropolitan State University

Jason McGrath, University of Minnesota

Richa Nagar, University of Minnesota

Annette Nierobisz, Carleton College

August H. Nimtz, University of Minnesota

William North, Carleton College

Constanza Ocampo-Raeder, Carleton College

Jeff Ondich, Carleton College

Susannah Ottaway, Carleton College

Lon Otto, University of St. Thomas

Arjendu Pattanayak, Carleton College

Lori Pearson, Carleton College

Yansi Y. Pérez, Carleton College

Stephen Philion, St. Cloud State University

Lucia Pawlowski, University of St. Thomas

Paula Rabinowitz, University of Minnesota

Peter Rachleff, Macalester College

Gloria Goodwin Raheja, University of Minnesota

Matthew Rand, Carleton College

Doug Rossinow, Metropolitan State University

Salvatore Salerno, Minneapolis Community and Technical College

Noah Salomon, Carleton College

Gerald W. Schlabach, University of St. Thomas

Meera Sehgal, Carleton College

J. B. Shank, University of Minnesota

Shana Sippy, Carleton College

Ajay Skaria, University of Minnesota

Sarah Schmalenberger, University of St. Thomas

Buffy Smith, University of St. Thomas

Marguerite L. Spencer, University of St Thomas

Clay Steinman, Macalester College

Martha Stortz, Augsburg College

James Brewer Stewart, Macalester College

Sheneeta W. White, University of St Thomas

Craig Upright, Winona State University

Virgil Wiebe, University of St. Thomas

Daniel Williams, Carleton College

Harry Williams, Carleton College

Thabiti Willis, Carleton College

Cathy Yandell, Carleton College