I bet that Victor Gruen is very happy to be dead enough to have never seen his best-laid plans come to this.
Yknow, mall cops can’t actually arrest people for violating mall policies. Startling how many people don’t know that.
Malls are private property and the right to is allowed only at the pleasure of the owners. It’s no different than your home; you have the right to prohibit people from coming onto your land and doing . Free speech ends at my property line.
This isn’t new or different. Try panhandling or doing door to door sales in any mall anywhere. I may not like what the MOA is doing, but it’s not unexpected and certainly legal.
and, it’s pretty dystopian, for all the reasons you just cited.
This mall is probably the worst place in the twin cities. Having just visited Minneapolis, I made a point of avoiding the mall, even though it was near 0 F the entire time, and I was having bad cabin fever. Thanks to bb for calling attention to this. I hope folks continue to make noise about this, We need to fight.
Yes but you don’t have the right to arrest them.
You’re quite right about the free speech part, and it’s surprising how many people don’t get that. If they wanted, mall owners could fill the mall with Republican campaign signs. But if you threw up a counter-sign, the most they could do is take it down and call the cops. They can’t cuff you and put you in Mall Cop Gitmo.
more than trespassing
There is not a face palmed enough for this.
“Subject to arrest?” IANAL (and I don’t play one on TV) but I can’t imagine that violating mall policy subjects one to arrest. Ah well, you don’t need to know what you’re doing to operate the public address system.
John Hodgeman posted this picture on Facebook and declared “finally, the perfect picture for my holiday cards!”
Hate to play apologist, but yeah, if someone asks you to leave their property, and you don’t, you’re trespassing. That’s a crime which, shockingly, might result in you being arrested by actual cops. And despite it being apparently open to the public, having a policy gives them something to point to and say that that the public is only welcome if they abide by those rules (ignoring rules that can’t be enforced).
About the only way this would be “epically dystopian” is if the reader were somehow completely mistaken about the current status quo in America and thought that the entire country were literally a mall, or had maybe moved public functions to a mall, a la the malls in Howard Chaykin’s American Flagg! At worst, it’s mildly mall-ninja-ish in real life.
It’s even better if you imagine that “Mall of America” is the new name for the USA.
Only a matter of time
That’s why the assorted plans(now largely on ice, for economic reasons that one can infer by looking at your average mall-husk) to treat the mall as a model replacement ‘public space’ tend to strike people as a bit problematic.
The problem isn’t that yes, indeed, you can tell people to get off your lawn; it’s that such ‘at the mere pleasure of the proprietor’ zones were long treated as equivalent to, or even better than, actual public spaces. Especially in less walkable cities, this leaves you with gaping civic dead zones: everything is either a highway or a private commercial establishment.
Oftentimes large spaces like malls are allowed development in municipalities with the understanding that they allow public access with limited restrictions. This is important to remember since the developments sometimes occur on what was previously public land. This is actually why mall owners don’t tend to go crazy with the biased politicking: they might face pissed-off citizens and their representatives wanting to revoke tax incentives, preferential leases, etc.
As to restrictions on assembly and speech: they can typically remove you from the mall, but would have to call the police to have you arrested.
Here’s the part that bothers me. The CITY attorney is acting as a “bought and paid for” official on the part of a private entity against members of the public in a civil dispute. These people didn’t trespass on clearly private property or otherwise engage in criminal activities. They participated in protected speech in a questionably public space.
in Las Vegas where
the electric bills are staggering
the decor hog wild
and the entertainment saccharine
what a golden age
what a time of right and reason
the consumers king
and unhappiness is treason
Begins and ends there, by your standard.
So what brings you out here?
I wonder what would constitute a “riot in the fourth degree?” Letting your kids run around KB Toys unsupervised?
What is dystopian is precisely the fact that public spaces are privately owned.
I have used mall PA systems to voice my criticisms of these same malls. Some of the most joyous fun I’ve ever had.
“Employees only? Why, I am somebody’s employee, they must mean it’s for me! And, after all, it does say “public address” on it.”