Protesters gathered at the U.S. Court building in Minneapolis before a planned march on Tuesday to show their rising concern about an executive order signed by President Trump this Friday regarding immigration from seven different countries.
The protesters have called this a Muslim ban as the seven countries affected consist of a Muslim majority. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has insisted that this is not a ban even though Trump himself has used the term “ban” when referring to the executive order.
This protest stands in stark contrast to other more high profile protests in cities like Seattle and Washington D.C. that have turned violent and resulted in physical injuries, damaged property and riot police who deployed pepper spray and tear gas while arresting protesters and even some who claim they are journalists and medics not involved directly in civil disobedience.
The Minneapolis Police Department has largely been hands-off when dealing with protesters by providing an escort of sorts for those marching, blocking off traffic and not making arrests when misdemeanors (lighting off firecrackers, smoke bombs and minor property damage) are committed. As opposed to more strong arm tactics that other cities have decided to institute.
As Lt. Gary Nelson told the Star Tribune:
“I think we share the same goal of having a peaceful and a safe environment for people to assemble.”
With the exception of the protest themselves, event organizers have maintained a non-confrontational approach as evidenced by providing a dissenting voice this last summer when a large group took over Interstate 94 and a small number of people attempted to provoke the protest to charge a police line set up behind the Cedar Avenue exit. The protest this Tuesday also split down the middle to let a fire truck through and event organizers physically put themselves in front of emergency vehicles to shuttle the protest away from emergency personnel.
The MPD estimates there were approximately 5,000 people present on Tuesday’s protest and said no arrests were made.