A mall in Sacramento was closed on Sunday as activists staged a sit-in to protest District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert’s decision not to file criminal charges against the two police officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark nearly a year ago, KTXL reports.
A small group of college students and activists staged the silent sit-in at Arden Fair Mall Saturday night into Sunday morning when mall official made the decision to shut down for the day.
“We’re protesting and causing a disturbance because we still have to fight for equal rights,” organizer Khalil Ferguson said. “We still have to fight for civil rights, human rights. It`s a shame in 2019.”
Dozens of supporters joined in throughout the day and at one point protesters blocked access to BJ’s Brewhouse.
Arden Fair spokesman Nathan Spradlin told KTXL the closure was to prevent protesters gathering “in unsafe numbers within the mall:”
As a part of this community, Arden Fair respected the desires of these individuals to express themselves, but due to the high potential for unsafe numbers to gather today, we have closed the center to groups of any size.
Spraldin said the mall is concerned by the negative economic impact the shutdown could bring.
“We are concerned for the negative impact a closure like this has on the livelihood of thousands of mall employees and on the city’s economy, as 18% of city sales tax revenue come from Arden Fair,” he said in an email to the news outlet.
Protesters say they hope the financial hit leads to change.
“We wanted to disturb maybe the most lucrative businesses, like Champs, who does high numbers, like Victoria’s Secret, like Apple,” Ferguson said. “We did not know it was going to turn into the whole mall shut down, which, of course, is exponentially greater than what we wanted initially. So this is a great feat and we will not stop.”
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