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Klobuchar rally canceled, rally to free Myon Burrell takes center stage

By Jess Sundin |
March 2, 2020
Protesters cause cancellation of Amy Klobuchar event, demanding "Free Myon Burre
Protesters cause cancellation of Amy Klobuchar event, demanding "Free Myon Burrell." (Fight Back! News/Staff)

St. Louis Park, MN - Amy Klobuchar supporters couldn’t fill the gymnasium, March 1, at Saint Louis Park High School, even with the help of some 250 protesters demanding freedom for Myon Burrell, an innocent Black teen she sent to prison for life when she was the county district attorney. Myon Burrell’s family, the Racial Justice Network, Minneapolis NAACP, Black Lives Matter Twin Cities, Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar, Communities United Against Police Brutality, and Black Lives Matter Minnesota called for community members to mobilize to protest at the Klobuchar rally, two days before the primary vote. For more than a month, they’ve been calling on Klobuchar to drop out of the race. Hours after the protest, she announced she’s doing just that.

After rallying outside briefly, protesters marched into the campaign rally, easily overcoming the resistance of a few campaign staffers. The marched to the front of the space, and soon took over the stage and much of the area directly in front of the stage. Doors opened at 7 p.m., and protesters were running the program. The campaign turned up the rally music to full blast, including tracks by the Indigo Girls, Bob Dylan and, shamelessly, Prince. As the music got louder, so did protesters’ chants, “Free Myon!” “Black lives matter!” and “Hey hey, ho ho, Klobuchar has got to go.” As Klobuchar was supposed to take the stage at 8 p.m., the campaign scrambled, asking organizers to meet with Klobuchar off-stage, and to let her rally proceed.

The campaign has since spun that story, claiming that organizers refused to meet. In fact, it was Klobuchar who backed out when organizers said they would speak to her with Myon’s family, but Klobuchar refused. Protesters were going strong for more than an hour and a half, facing off with upset Klobuchar supporters, almost all white, including some large men who attempted to physically intimidate women and children. Nothing stopped the protesters, and Klobuchar was unwilling to answer for her role in Burrell’s unjust imprisonment in front of her own supporters. Shortly after that, at 8:43 p.m., a voice came booming over the loudspeaker, “We’re sorry to say that the night’s event has been canceled.”

Protesters cheered, and Klobuchar’s supporters fled, like their leader. The rally closed with a performance by the TKO Drumline and Knockout Danceteam.

Myon Burrell was just 16 years old when he was wrongfully convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. Amy Klobuchar’s office prosecuted Burrell on the basis of paid jailhouse informants, coerced eye witness testimony, questionable interrogation tactics, with no DNA, fingerprints, ballistics, or other tangible evidence linking him to the crime. Myon Burrell has spent nearly 18 years in prison and is now 33 years old. He has continued to maintain his innocence since day one.

Facing little support nationally, and losing support every day in her home state, the final nail in the coffin of Amy Klobuchar’s presidential bid was the fight to free Myon Burrell.

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