Mayor Betsy Hodges Speech at U of M Campus Disrupted

Minneapolis, MN – On Thursday, May 19th, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges speech at the U of M campus was disrupted by members of the Black Liberation Project (BLP). The speaking event was titled “The Opportunity City: Progress Report for Improving Equity in Minneapolis”.

Here is video of the disruption:

During her speech, the mayor spoke at length about income inequality along racial lines and her plans to make Minneapolis a “more equitable city”.

The mayor was 32 minutes into her speech before she turned her attention to the fatal shooting of Jamar Clark by Minneapolis police officers in north Minneapolis. At that moment members of BLP stormed the stage chanting Jamar Clark‘s names for a little over 7 minutes before campus police grabbed and escorted main organizers outside the building without charge.

The disrupters pointed towards the mayor’s support for Glendale township homes gentrification in Prospect Park as proof of her hypocrisy in attempting to make the city more equitable.

Black Liberation Project posted this press release:


In the case of Jamar Clark, the mayor claimed that she could do nothing until the federal investigation into the matter concluded. Despite numerous questions over the facts of the case, Hodges has given praise to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman in what she called “a thorough explanation of his decision and for posting evidence”.

So far, no officers have been disciplined or charged over Jamar Clark’s death.

After the disrupters were removed, the mayor proceeded with the event answering limited questions for the crowd. Despite attempts from the moderator to get the mayor’s condemnation of the protesters, Hodges repeatedly stated that “disruption is a powerful tool” and that she continues to offer her hand to the disrupters because she “knows what they can do together”. One of the disrupters refuted this, alleging that they had tried to get in contact with Betsy for “18 days” without answer but once.

Also on Thursday, organizers from the local liberal-affiliated 501c4 nonprofit NOC (Neighborhoods Organizing for Change) led an action to demand Republicans in the state legislature support passage of elements of the United Black Legislative Agenda which is linked to DFL Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget proposals; Dayton proposed $100 million would be earmarked towards state education and job training programs for people of color. For more details on this action, read here.

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For more of our reports on the protests surrounding the death of Jamar Clark, here are the links:
Police Precinct Occupied after Jamar Clark is ‘Executed’ while Handcuffed
#Justice4Jamar Camp Expands; Minneapolis Residents Block I-94; Unicorn Riot Reporter & 40+ Others Arrested
Minneapolis Police Try to Crush #Justice4Jamar Camp; Community Resists
White Supremacists Shoot Five Protesters and MPD Attacks #Justice4Jamar Crowd
“Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes”: White Supremacists Arrested for Shootings
#Justice4Jamar Assailants Net Minor Charges; Camp Braces for Police Action
8 Arrests Made as #4thPrecinctShutDown Eradicated in Early Morning Raid
#BlongNBetsysFortress: Minneapolis Residents Show Up to Defeat $605K Payday for 4th Pct
Hundreds March Miles in Frigid Temp for #Justice4Jamar
#BlackXMas2 Shuts Down Mall of America, Light Rail & Both MSP Terminals
Protestors File Lawsuit Against MPD for Excessive Force
Broken Hearts Rally
Hennepin County Attorney Says Jamar Clark Case Set for Grand Jury
#FreemanFridays – New Witness Statement Released
Hiding Hate Crimes: Prosecutor Goes Easy on Attempted Murderers
#Justice4Jamar: Mpls Community Braces for Worst Case Scenario as Decision Looms
Community Responds to Jamar Clark Decision