Protesters march to home of councilor Susan Mims ahead of special City Council meeting

The Iowa Freedom Riders made their final visit to city councilors ahead of Tuesday’s special meeting to discuss action on the demands the group has made of the Iowa City City Council.


Hannah Kinson

City Councilor Susan Mims addresses the crowd on Monday, June 15 at her house on Oakes Drive. At the edge of the driveway, protesters discussed their demand for disbanding the police and what actions Mims would take in the upcoming City Council meeting. Mims said that she could not promise that all Iowa Freedom Riders' demands will be met immediately.

Rylee Wilson, News Editor

Protesters continued to bring their demands to the homes of Iowa City City Councilors for the fourth night in a row, speaking to City Councilor Susan Mims on Monday night about the Iowa Freedom Riders’ demands. 

Mims was initially hesitant to agree to implement all 12 of the demands the Iowa Freedom Riders have made, however she eventually told protesters she would take action on all of their demands — whether long-term or short-term. 

Mims said she will not support immediately defunding the Iowa City Police Department, however, which is one of the group’s demands. 

Protesters have previously visited the homes of City Councilors Pauline Taylor and John Thomas, and Mayor Bruce Teague. 

The group has sought to apply pressure to the City Council ahead of its special meeting on Tuesday evening, where councilors will discuss the demands of the Iowa Freedom Riders. 

Dawn Clark attended the protests for a second time on Monday. She previously marched on Saturday, when protestors went to Thomas’ doorstep. 

“I think that authority that is misused needs to be held accountable for that,” Clark said. “Going and saying what you did was wrong, or you didn’t do something wrong but you’re allowing things that are wrong to happen – I was really impressed with the organizers. I think that it’s great that they kept everyone with one voice, and they were very clear in what they had to say.” 

The protests continue to draw crowds by the hundreds, more than two and a half weeks since they first began. 

Brianna Smith attended a protest for the first time on Monday night. She said she decided to come to the protest after she heard the experiences her brothers had at the protests. 

“As a Black female, I experience a lot of racial things — and having Black brothers, it’s to fight for them too,” Smith said. “My brother has come to some of them, and he said he felt really enlightened, so I wanted to be a part of that too.”

Organizers said at the conclusion of Monday evening’s protest that if they feel significant action has been taken by the City Council on their demands, they will not protest Friday evening. If the group feels that city councilors have not adequately addressed the demands, they will return to the streets on Friday.

The group plans to halt protests Tuesday through Thursday of this week.

Here is what journalists for The Daily Iowan reported during events Monday evening.

11:20 p.m. – The group has returned to the Pentacrest. Organizers are reminding the crowd that the city council is meeting tomorrow evening to discuss the group’s demands. 

The group says if the council meeting goes well, they will not protest on Friday.

10:45 p.m. – The crowd turns into Burlington Street and begins to head toward downtown. The group forms a circle at the intersection of Clinton and Burlington Streets and chants “If we can’t get no justice, then y’all can’t get no sleep. 

9:50 p.m. – After 40 minutes of conversation, Mims says she will commit to action, either long-term or short-term on the protesters’ demands. The group begins to march away from Mims’ house.

9:10 p.m. – The group arrives at Iowa City City Councilor Susan Mims’ home on Oakes Drive. Mims is waiting outside. 

Mims said she was disappointed with the structure of the emergency City Council meeting on June 9, saying she felt there was not enough time to properly discuss the demands of the Iowa Freedom Riders. 

“I will be the first to admit in the ten-and-a-half years I’ve been on [the city council], that was not one of my high moments of preparation and verbalizarían of what I believe in,” Mims said. “I promise I will do better tomorrow night.” 

Mims said she could not promise that all of the Iowa Freedom Riders’ demands can be met immediately.

“I am not going to promise that you will get everything you want, but I am going to promise you will get some of what you want now,” Mims said. “I believe you will get satisfaction on some of your demands immediately tomorrow night.”

Mims says she cannot fully commit to dropping all charges against protesters until she has read the information packet fully. 

“What’s happening is that they’re charging them in a misdemeanor, but once they have them, they ramp up the charges,” an organizer says. “This is their future that’s being tampered with because they’re trying to do something right.”

Mims says she will not commit to immediately disbanding the police. 

8:50 p.m. – The group arrives outside the home of City Councilor Susan Mims. It appears Mims is not home. The crowd chants “all silence is violence” on the street outside her house on Quincent Street.

The crowd heads towards Mims home on Oakes Drive. There is confusion as to what her current address is.

8:00 p.m. – The crowd pauses at the intersection of Governor and Jefferson Streets.

7:45 p.m. – The crowd begins marching down Iowa Avenue. Organizers say they plan to knock on more doors tonight. Protesters went to the home of City Councilor Pauline Taylor on Monday.

7:30 p.m. – A protester is speaking to the crowd about Rayshard Brooks, a Black man who was killed by police in Atlanta on June 12.

As reported by the New York Times, Brooks failed a sobriety test outside a Wendy’s restaurant and engaged in a struggle with a police officer. The police officer killed Brooks and has since been fired. The Atlanta police chief resigned June 13.

“He was not committing a crime,” the organizer says about Brooks. “He was sleeping outside of a restaurant the same way semi-drivers do … we need justice for him and everybody else.”

7:00 p.m. – The crowd of around 300 gathers on the Pentacrest. An organizer leads the group in some stretches in preparation for the march ahead.

Aaron Page, attorney for Mazin Mohamedali gives the crowd an update on his status. Page says Mohamedali will be transferred to Iowa City soon, but a date is not set. Mohamedali is currently being held in Marshall County.

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