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NEWS DAY | New Year's Eve Round Dance announced by Idle No More, denounced by Mall of America
Native American organizers identified with the Idle No More movement have announced a Round Dance at the Mall of America on New Year's Eve — 4:30 p.m. on December 31. In response, the Mall of America sent letters to those they identified as leaders, threatening arrests and prohibiting any gathering.
Last year, Idle No More organized a "Flash Roundy" on December 29 at MOA in solidarity with Canadian First Nations protests against changes to Canada's Indian Act. . Sheila Regan reported:
More than a thousand Native American people filled the eastern rotunda at the Mall of America, dancing in a circle as the sound of drums filled the area. Not only was the entire rotunda filled with dancers, but on both balconies on the floor above, supporters and shoppers clambered to watch what was happening, capturing the event on their cell phones and cameras.
This year, MOA sent some organizers a letter ordering them not to come, and saying in part that, "we prohibit all forms of protest, demonstration and public debate, including political activity aimed at organizing political or social groups."
Reyna Crow, one of the people who received the letter, responded in a press release that,
“The characterization of the Round Dance as a protest is not only incorrect, it is insulting. If the Idle No More flash mob Round Dance that was held there last year is a `protest’, so are the Christmas carols and the other flash mob events that have been held there.”
Crow has called a press conference at 3 p.m. December 31 at the Mall of America "to respond publicly to Mall of America’s threats to arrest Idle No More organizers, and the unequal treatment of Indigenous organizers in ceded territory."
Below: copy of letter sent by MOA, and posted on Facebook.