Hilldale abruptly closes as people gather for planned demonstration promoting Black liberation

Demonstrators At Hilldale Shopping Center

MADISON, Wis. — All of the stores at Hilldale abruptly closed Friday around 2:30 p.m. as organizers of planned demonstration began to set up in front of the Apple store.

One event organizer, a man named Jungle, said the demonstration was planned to promote Black liberation while simultaneously bringing their message to the attention of the “rich white community.”

“We’re here to show that we can be civil,” Jungle said. “We are civil. We are professional, but we’re also being creative at the same time. We’re exposing the racism and protesting in a peaceful way.”

In a statement released several hours after the shopping center was shut down, a Hilldale representative said the demonstration was peaceful and family friendly.

“We are happy to welcome this block party to Hilldale although would have been grateful to be involved in the organization of it so that we could prepare the site to receive a crowd and work to insure that all Covid-related standards of mass gatherings were met,” the statement said.

Security guards in the area turned cars away from the mall as demonstrators gathered in the area. One security guard was overheard saying stores closed because of a “safety concern.”