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 2021-05-18 at 6.27.07 PM

Officers, firefighter, Samaritan save driver from sinking vehicle in Eagan

The driver crashed into a pond after suffering a medical emergency.

Screen Shot 2021-05-18 at 5.52.41 PM

Police: Missing Twin Cities man's vehicle involved in hit-and-run

He was last seen April 28, though his vehicle was involved in a Richfield hit-and-run on May 1.

minneapolis police

2 men charged with assaulting officers during tense weekend

According to the charges, one hit an officer with a stick, the other used mace.

Facebook - train derail goose lake - Albert Lea PD

Train derailment in Albert Lea spilled 40,000 gallons of corrosive acid

The train derailed on the edge of Goose Lake and protected wetlands.

west fargo screenshot

West Fargo police officer dies while on duty

They suffered what was described as a "medical emergency."

Willians Astudillo

Twins broadcasters upset with White Sox over unwritten rule

Yermin Mercedes' ninth-inning bomb drew criticism on Monday night.

Derek Malevich (1)

Man charged in ex-girlfriend's death was accused of assault months prior

He was charged with murder days before he was set to appear in court in connection to the assault charges.

Caribou Coffee

Best Buy, Caribou Coffee latest to update face mask requirement for customers

New CDC guidance says vaccinated people don't need to wear face masks indoors.

photo-005

Gallery: Kirby Puckett's former Brooklyn Park home for sale at $485,000

The home still features some of Kirby's touches and apparently a secret compartment in the wet bar.

hospital, emergency room

Charges: Driver was going 71 mph in 25 mph zone before crash that killed teen

The vehicle went airborne and slammed into the wall, killing a teenage passenger.

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.

Brooklyn Center, protest, Daunte Wright

Letter details CNN journalist's arrest experience during Daunte Wright protests

Media outlets sent a letter to officials following a phone conference about the mistreatment of the press over the weekend.

Screen Shot 2021-02-02 at 10.52.37 AM

More arrests in Line 3 protests; one jumped onto pipe being lowered into trench

The protests in Carlton County are just the latest in demonstrations against the project.