Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar rally derailed by protestors

St. Louis Park attempts to host presidential candidate

Talia Lissauer and Marta Hill

This story was updated 1 p.m. March 2. 

The day after Sen. Amy Klobuchar was set to speak at Park, she suspended her presidential bid March 2. 

Expecting to attend a peaceful Amy Klobuchar rally at her own high school, junior Zoe Frank  said she was unsure how to feel when the rally was canceled. Several dozen protestors took the stage in the field house at Park, yelling anti-Klobuchar sentiments, Black Lives Matter chants and references to the Myon Burrell case

“I supported what they were saying because I don’t think that anybody should be discriminated against under the law, but at the same time I still wanted to hear Amy Klobuchar’s response to it and I wanted to hear her speak,” Frank said. “I stood by what they were saying but the audience was contradicting them so it was really conflicting.”

According to a campaign spokesperson, the campaign offered the group of protesters a meeting with the senator if the group would leave the stage after being on for more than an hour. After initially agreeing, the group backed out, and the campaign canceled the event.

The protestors claimed that in 2003, when Klobuchar was the attorney of Hennepin County, she wrongfully sentenced Myon Burrell to life in prison for a fatal shooting of an 11-year-old girl.

I supported what they were saying because I don’t think that anybody should be discriminated against under the law, but at the same time I still wanted to hear Amy Klobuchar’s response to it and I wanted to hear her speak.”

— Zoe Frank

As the Myon Burrell case has resurfaced with Klobuchar’s campaign, Frank said she supports the protestors, but was looking forward to hearing Klobuchar speak right before Super Tuesday.

“I’m disappointed I didn’t get to hear her speak but I am happy for the progress that got made on this issue, so I feel just very conflicted about the whole thing,” Frank said.

When junior Keely Berntsen found out about the March 1 rally at Park, she said she was shocked a presidential candidate would choose St. Louis Park. 

“I was kind of surprised that they would choose to do it at St. Louis Park because it’s probably not the nicest school,” Berntsen said. “But I was excited because it was so close and accessible. I thought I would see a lot of people that I knew there and get some good information.”

Frank, president of Roots and Shoots, said she attended the rally in hopes of understanding Klobuchar’s position on climate change and climate policy. 

“We’re a bit nervous about the extent to which her climate policy is actually developed, and we thought it would be our chance, like her rally St. Louis Park High School, to possibly get our voices heard,” Frank said. 

Curious to see how campaign rallies work, Berntsen said she attended to Klobuchar rally to learn more about both Klobuchar and rallies in general.

“I’ve never like been to a political rally before, so I was very interested in it because it was (at) our high school and I was curious to hear about what Amy Klobuchar would have to say,” Berntsen said. 

Although Frank was unable to hear from Klobuchar, she was happy to be interviewed by Kare 11 to get her voice out. 

“I just sort of went off about the climate,” Frank said. “I was just happy to tell them why I was there because I was not there to protest or anything, but for climate and I’m happy that they got my voice.”