Macalester president repeats offer to cover bail, fines for arrested student protesters

Activists held a press conference Thursday demanding an apology from Gov. Tim Walz and that all charges against protesters be dropped
Author:
Publish date:
Dr. Suzanne Rivera

Dr. Suzanne M. Rivera, president of Macalester College

The president of Macalester College in St. Paul has offered to cover bail and any other fines for students arrested for "civil disobedience" and who can't afford to pay.

Dr. Suzanne Rivera made the pledge to her students in the wake of protests in Minneapolis on Wednesday evening, which closed down I-94 and saw Minneapolis Police Department officers using chemical irritant.

Police surrounded protesters on I-94 and then carried out a mass-arrest of more than 600 people, including journalists, Wednesday night. Multiple organizers co-hosted the protest, dubbed "Don’t Let Trump Steal the Election," which called for all votes to be counted in the presidential election, while also demanding social justice. 

Most were arrested, cited and then released; some remain in jail, including a 19-year-old woman who is being held on probable cause fourth-degree assault on an officer for allegedly aiming a laser pointer at an officer, Unicorn Riot reports. 

Journalists at the scene say protesters spent the majority of their time on I-94 surrounded by police, waiting to be arrested, with some waiting over two hours. 

Rivera, who began her tenure as Macalester's president in June, tweeted Thursday that currently enrolled Macalester students arrested during the protest can email her for assistance paying bail or other fines, if they are unable to do so themselves.

"I care deeply about both the wellbeing of our students and their right to practice civil disobedience," she said on Twitter, noting that students have the "support" of Macalester.

This is not the first time Rivera has made such an offer – in a June email to the campus community in the wake of the George Floyd protests, she announced that Macalseter would, among other efforts to support protesters, reimburse students for civil disobedience citations or transportation expenses incurred because of their participation.

Rivera repeated this offer in October, when students were among those arrested during protests against former MPD officer Derek Chauvin's release from jail. 

“Peaceful protest is a time-honored tradition in the US and I fully support our students’ rights to assembly and freedom of expression,” Rivera wrote at the time.  

The Macalester student newspaper also reports that Rivera reiterated this commitment in a community conversation webinar last month. 

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

The Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar Clark, one of the organizers of the protest, is demanding that all charges against protesters are dropped and to free any protesters still being held in jail. 

Activists held a press conference calling for an apology and response from Gov. Tim Walz outside the Governor's Mansion Thursday afternoon. He did not make an appearance. 

One speaker criticized the actions of Minneapolis police and the Minnesota State Patrol, which they say employed "kettling" tactics in response to the protest march.

"It was absolutely absurd to have hundreds of law enforcement officers out on the freeway when we were steps away from the exit .. as we were attempting to exit the freeway, people in the front line of cars saw state troopers run across the freeway and deliberately block the exit," they said. "It was a violation of our First Amendment right to free speech." 

Marchers were protesting several things on Wednesday, with some taking part in an "anti-Trump" march as the president made demands to stop votes being counted in certain states he could potentially lose to Joe Biden, while others were calling for racial justice and an end to police brutality.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-11-29 at 4.59.51 PM

Watch: Adam Thielen watches end of Vikings/Panthers just like all of us

The Vikings receiver looked like a true fan on Sunday afternoon.

Chad Beebe

Chad Beebe's roller-coaster fourth-quarter keeps Vikings playoff hopes alive

A muffed punt and a game-winning touchdown helped defeat the Panthers on Sunday afternoon.

127266986_2766399800267634_3587849554502438415_n

West-central MN cops warn kids to stay off ice, or 'Santa won't come'

This comes amid repeated ice warnings across the state.

covid-19, coronavirus, PPE

Nov. 29 COVID-19 update: 57 deaths, nearly 9,000 more cases

Nearly 100,000 tests were included in Sunday's report.

jim ramstad

Watch former Rep. Jim Ramstad's memorial service online

The ceremony will be live-streamed for the public on Sunday.

EDL1LeKXsAEeH32

How high can Rashod Bateman go in the 2021 NFL Draft?

The Gophers star receiver has plenty of praise heading into next April.

TCF Bank Stadium

15 more from Gopher football team test positive for COVID-19

That brings the total number of cases from this outbreak to 40.

Teddy Bridgewater

5 questions for Vikings-Panthers Week 12 NFC battle

The Vikings welcome Teddy Bridgewater back to U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

police lights

Shelter-in-place in Albert Lea after police officer shot in the chest

The officer was able to drive to an emergency room.

En-KfRaXEAEbuE7

St. Paul officer shoots man who got out of dumpster, ran towards police

A report says the man was naked and had a steak knife.

Screen Shot 2020-11-28 at 6.58.11 PM

Gophers dominate second half to defeat Loyola-Marymount

Marcus Carr scored 26 to send the Gophers to 2-0.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Kandiyohi Co. man airlifted after hand caught in corn picker

Corn pickers are a common cause of farm accidents.

Related

Dr. Suzanne Rivera

Macalester College board approves appointment of its 17th president

Dr. Suzanne Rivera is the first female president in the college's 145-year history.

George Floyd protest

University of St. Thomas clinic offers free legal help to arrested protesters

More than 400 arrests have been made in the Twin Cities area in relation to the protests.

Screen Shot 2020-06-02 at 7.24.50 AM

Dozens of arrests as peaceful protest continues past curfew in St. Paul

Protesters in Minneapolis meanwhile stayed at 38th and Chicago till the early hours.

George Floyd

51 arrested in Minneapolis protests after Chauvin is released from prison

The former officer charged in George Floyd's death posted bond Wednesday and was released, prompting the largely peaceful protests in Minneapolis.

Screen Shot 2020-05-31 at 5.51.01 PM

Authorities say tanker truck driver was not trying to harm protesters

Gov. Walz said the driver feels lucky that he wasn't killed.

Screen Shot 2020-05-31 at 9.35.56 PM

Police surround protesters, arrest crowd of 150 in Minneapolis

The group was surrounded by a large group of officers.

Screen Shot 2020-05-31 at 5.48.13 PM

Peaceful protesters moving onto Interstate 94 in Twin Cities

There are protests throughout the Twin Cities ahead of curfew Sunday night.