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Minnesota Rallies In Wake Of Ferguson Decision

MINNEAPOLIS (AP/WCCO) -- At least four rallies are planned in Minnesota, and hundreds of students in Minneapolis lined hallways to voice their discontent in the wake of the grand jury's decision in Ferguson, Missouri, not to indict officer Darren Wilson.

The jury had been meeting for months before deciding not to indict Wilson in the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager.

Three rallies are planned in the Twin Cities on Tuesday, starting with a 3 p.m. event at the University of Minnesota's Coffman Union. Later rallies are planned outside Minneapolis' 3rd Precinct and at the State Capitol in St. Paul. A fourth rally is planned for Duluth.

Reies Romero, of Save the Kids, is an organizer of the rally outside the 3rd Precinct, and he says the Twin Cities community won't let what happened in Ferguson happen here.

"We are not going to let these things continue," he said.

Romero added that the rally will be peaceful, but demonstrators will make a statement. His group, which is aligned with Augsburg College, is staging the rally with other groups, including Save the Kids Twin Cities and Communities United Against Police Brutality.

Police in the Twin Cities say it's important for people to be able to express their opinions, and departments are offering assistance to organizations wishing to host a protest.

Southwest High School Sit-In
(credit: Paige Christenson)

Meanwhile, hundreds of students at Minneapolis' South High School and Southwest High School participated in sit-ins Tuesday, with students lining the halls, or even walking out.

Minneapolis Public Schools released a statement saying it respects students' right to assemble, and that they will not face discipline if the sit-ins remain peaceful.

However, the school said students may face an unexcused absence if the sit-ins are "prolonged." Also, if students walk out, they won't be able to return to classes or participate in after-school activities.

In addressing parents, the district said the school strives to provide students with a safe environment to express themselves, and that teachers may use current events such as this to teach about peaceful conflict resolutions.

"We intend  to listen to our  students and ask open-ended questions so we can better understand their perspectives," the statement said.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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