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Activists calling for charges in Nov. 4 protest to be dropped

More than 600 people were cited after a demonstration against the triple pandemic of racism, economic crisis and COVID-19 spilled onto I-94.
Credit: Sky 11
Dozens of vehicles drove repeatedly past the Governor's residence, eventually stopping and blocking Summit Avenue to traffic.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Governor Tim Walz has warned against the gathering of large groups this holiday weekend, but a collection of uninvited guests is not heeding his advice, deciding instead to mass at the Governor's residence in an attempt to have their voices heard.

Activists staged a car caravan early Friday afternoon to protest the arrests of 646 people who were cited during a protest the night of Nov. 4. The group is demanding that all charges and fines be dropped against those involved. 

During that Nov. 4 protest, launched to draw attention to what organizers call "the triple pandemic of racism, economic crisis and COVID-19," activists spilled out onto Interstate 94. The crowd shut down traffic on the busy freeway for more than three hours. 

RELATED: More than 600 cited and released during I-94 protest

Minneapolis Police, the Minnesota State Patrol and other agencies moved in to remove protesters and ticket each of them for being a pedestrian on a freeway and public nuisance. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) insisted no force or chemicals were used that night, and no protesters or officers were injured during the encounter. 

The day after the Nov. 4 protest, activist Jess Sundin told KARE 11 it would have lasted an hour, but law enforcement didn't allow protesters to leave. 

Friday demonstrators gathered at J.J. Hill elementary school, the place Philando Castile worked, to decorate their cars and organize. From there dozens of vehicles rolled out to drive to the governor's residence and make their message heard. 

From SKY 11 you could see the group drive a repeated route through the neighborhood, passing by the Governor's residence over and over again. Eventually the activists stopped their vehicles, making Summit Avenue impassable.

According to a spokesperson for Gov. Walz, the governor doesn't have the authority to drop any of the charge. This decision would need to be made by the Minneapolis City Attorney.

RELATED: Organizers gather outside Gov. Walz's residence following Wednesday's protest in Minneapolis