Anti-protest sign at Mall of America is epically dystopian

That’s a riot in the third aisle


“Hey, that’s not the permitted march route! You’re going to make it harder to get a permit next time!”


I think there are big differences, both in ethics, and also in law. For example, because they are supposed to be public accommodations, they are supposed to follow nondiscrimination laws. I am not an expert on the Americans with Disabilities Act, but mall managers don’t care about accessibility and mall cops hassle people for disabilities, so I don’t think they actually have to follow nondiscrimination laws.

"There’s the important extra step in there between violating mall policy and being arrested, though - telling someone, “You’re violating mall policy”

That’s what that giant sign was for.

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“Trespass to land in English, and I think US, law is, or at least used to be, a tort not a crime.”

It’s both.

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Define: Butthurtee.
A person who willfully misinterprets stuff to highlight their butthurt.

They didn’t dis-invite, they said they were subject to arrest by Paul Blart Mall Cop.


Do you think they were saying owners shouldn’t be able to dis-invite people from private property, or illustrating the problem with replacing public spaces with private ones that only appear public?


You wanna buy me a house with a lawn, be my guest.


commercial space intended for public use is not the space as private space. numerous laws support the distinction.

the question about online places regulating speech is more interesting – but there are lots of differences between meat space and net space. for one: there are many avenues all at your finger tips to gather online. in physical space – there’s limited choice.

the death of people at the hands of police was right there in their state. seeking a public, physical space to connect with other people is not only just appropriate, but necessary.

fwiw: ive had multiple friends who are between homes crash on my couch, but i have a snark-free policy.


Your comment is not authorized and is in clear violation of BoingBoing policy. We expect all unauthorized commenters to disperse at this time. Those who continue to comment will be subject to arrest.

Arresting people, banning trolls, totally the same.


Don’t really have a dog in this fight. The protestors wanted attention, they got it in spades. the mall wanted them to leave, and I’m sure they did eventually. The ?city attorney? was a bit over the top, but I’m sure nothing will come of it.

Having said all of that:

When its zero degrees outside some of the only public venues to have a
protest without risk of hypothermia are private spaces such as MOA.

That it is cold outside does not entitle you to use other peoples property against their wishes.

The mall has allowed other large groups to gather for less controversial topics.

That I have invited other people into my home doesn’t entitle you to enter it as you please and remain after I’ve asked you to leave.

If they had allowed this protest to go on in the same manner as those
gatherings it may not have required dystopian billboards or they may
have arrested people who actually did something wrong.

To my knowledge the protest went exactly as expected: Protestors caused a spectacle, got some attention, raised some awareness. It would have been nice if MOA had scrolled “Black lives matter” across the screen instead, but nice don’t always happen.

There is an interesting discussion to be had regarding public spaces, the lack there of in many cities, and the exact line between that defines them. But don’t think it’s necessary or helpful to cast anyone as the boogey man in that discussion for doing no more than you would in your home or place of business if some started raising a ruckus.

The best thing MOA could have done all around is probably completely ignore the protests. They would have been but a fart in the breeze. Once sniffed, but quickly gone.

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There’s a good case to be made that private property rights aside, malls form what amounts to the new “public square.” Times change, and our concepts have to change with them. The MoA could have used this as an opportunity, but they did the opposite.


[quote=“Gamen, post:11, topic:49167”]
Hate to play apologist, but yeah, if someone asks you to leave their property, and you don’t, you’re trespassing.[/quote]
Nobody’s denied that. But (here in the UK) trespass is a civil, not a criminal, offence. And mall ‘cops’ have no more power than any civilian with so-called citizen’s arrest rights. The can’t arrest on behalf of their employer. We’d be back to local warlords. Admittedly, we might be heading that way anyway though.

The only claim that’s been made is wrt mall cops, so, yeah, you’re right (apart from your use of the word crime). In a strawy kind of way. Nobody said you couldn’t end up being arrested.

Mojo is always appropriate.


You are a podunk mall store owner just barely making it on razor thin margins. It’s Christmas season where you make about 70%+ of your revenue. You look out your front entrance and you see a mob of yelling people approaching. What would your expectations of authorities be at that moment?

Hey, it can’t be civil disobedience without disobedience.


No, the sign skips that step - it doesn’t actually even ask people to leave, but to “disperse” if they’re demonstrators. It jumps from violation of the mall’s policies to being arrested. Although it doesn’t even directly do that - the “demonstration” is in violation of policy, and “participants” in that demonstration will be arrested. What they need is someone to actually say, “You people are now considered to be trespassing, leave or get arrested.” That step is still missing. What they’re actually threatening people with arrest over isn’t a crime.


Exactly! The mall is being consistent with their policies and practices, and I thought actually were pretty nice about trying to find an alternative location for the protest and generally being proactive ahead of time. The city attorney is behaving horribly! The idea that a public official would be so clearly biased towards a for-profit entity against citizens and engage in such ridiculous hyperbole (riot? seriously?) is incredibly disturbing to me. I would think she should be disbarred. This hysteria towards protesters on the part of government officials is really troublesome.

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The Mall of America is anything but Podunk.

What are you, some kinda hayseed?

BTW, the claim that there’s no right of free speech on private property is incorrect in my home state of California and several other US jurisdictions.

California’s state constitution (and many other US state constitutions) have Free Speech provisions that go beyond the US Constitution’s First Amendment. As a result some California shopping malls in some circumstances are obligated to allow free speech in certain limited areas.

Not all other state courts agree that their constitutions imply that.

It’s a complicated issue. Wikipedia has a reasonably informed account of Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins, the US Supreme Court’s affirmation of the California Supreme Court decision that established the principle, and the subsequent jurisprudence that has further evolved and refined the principle.

Outside of California and the few other US states that have followed in its footsteps, none of this applies, of course - but in California, a property owner’s right to restrict free expression is not absolute. There are specific limited exceptions.

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