Zombie of the Week: The Minnesota Zombie Rights Activists

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Welcome to ‘Zombie of the Week,’ folks, where each week we’ll present you with a different brain-eating member of the undead that has captured our fancy. There is no methodology to our Zombie Awesomeness meter, just our own piqued interests. Got a zombie we should see? Comment below. No zombie is too small, too short-lived, or too gross.

What started as your average public zombie shuffle ended in an outrageous violation of the rights of the undead.

In 2006, seven zombies from Minneapolis spent the afternoon at a local mall to do some mindless shopping. Still, officers received complaints from shoppers who had obviously bought into the long-established trope that zombies are always perpetuating violence and fear. (I mean, geez, you try to eat a guy just once and then suddenly that’s all you’re after…)

The Minneapolis police arrested the zombies for disorderly conduct, and on account of suspicious material in their possession: sound equipment, iPods, radios – pretty dangerous stuff. After their apprehension, all but one of the group spent two days in the county jail. For what? For being zombies with the audacity to appear in public?

Nope. The police booked the zombies on charges of displaying simulated weapons of mass destruction and even confiscated zombie Jake Sternberg’s prosthetic leg, just in case he attempted to use it as a weapon.

Full disclosure: These brave souls aren’t actually zombies. (Zombies don’t actually exist, sweeties.) They were a group of protesters who wanted to demonstrate the mindless state of consumerism in America. A little philosophical zombie-ing never hurt anyone, right?

I guess it depends on who you ask.

After their arrest, the zombies filed suit against the city and its police for a violation of rights, particularly of their first amendment rights. The case was initially dismissed, but just last Wednesday an appellate court overruled the dismissal, bringing the suit back to the un-dead. (Had to.)

The court stated in its decision that the police were not in the right to arrest the zombies for simply ” dressing as zombies and walking erratically in downtown Minneapolis.”

Score: 8 (out of 10) for strides in zombie rights

And because it’s just oh-so fitting:

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