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Flash Mob Saturday Wasn't the First at Westfield SouthPark

But there was a big difference between the others and a rapper's appearance this weekend

Flash mobs aren't new to -- there have been several there in the last couple years.

But there was a key difference between those and by Cleveland rapper Machine Gun Kelly -- an event that drew hundreds of screaming fans and eded in the rapper's arrest.

Permission.

"All of the other flash mobs were coordinated with us and I assisted with every one of them," mall Marketing Director Andy Selesnik said in an email.

Videos show the previous flash mobs were not very disruptive, like this one by the Cleveland Swings dance club Nov. 20, 2010. 

Some others involve teens performing choreographed dances in May, 2010 and Dec. 20, 2010.

It's apparent the mall was involved because the music for the routines is piped through the sound system.

By contrast, Machine Gun Kelly posted this video of Saturday's 5 p.m. event on You Tube.

It shows the rapper and his group being greeted by fans in the malls food court, outside , and jumping on tables to be seen.

Strongsville police said the group members were asked to get off the tables and did not comply. Several were arrested for disorderly conduct and removed from the mall -- including a shirtless Machine Gun Kelly in handcuffs.

Selesnik said it is too early to comment on the future of flash mobs at Westfield SouthPark as "the whole situation is being reviewed."

But the nature of flash mobs has taken a violent turn in recent months.

A  in the Coventry neighborhood of Cleveland Heights made headlines in June after thousands of kids gathered at an art fair. Fights broke out and 16 people were arrested, prompting local officials to impose a 6 p.m. curfew for minors in the city's business districts.

It's not known what Machine Gun Kelly had planned at Westfield SouthPark on Saturday, other than to gather as many fans as he could and possibly perform for them in the food court.

Another key difference in Saturday's event is that this one was advertised and fans were encouraged to attend, rather than other flash mobs in which no crowds were gathered to watch.

The rapper organized the flash mob through Twitter.

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Janice Krusoczky August 22, 2011 at 06:15 PM
If the mall knew about the other flash mobs and allowed them, would they allow a rapper had he asked in advance? I doubt it. Then he would have had a discrimination lawsuit. The fact that they just did it and stood on tables was poor judgement. But then again, one of the 5 teen white girls who did this with permission from the mall back in May 2010 did a back hand spring on the marble floor without a matt or a spotter so that was also dangerous. As a 40-something mom, I don't care that they're tattooed rappers singing and dancing in the mall. I do care that there was a huge crowd which could potentially get out of control. They should NOT stand on tables which people eat on, either. That's the problem here.
Pam August 22, 2011 at 06:36 PM
My comment is this.. it should never have been allowed in the first place... they charge through a store and upset many people, scaring some and were totally out of control... it is outrageous that they were not made to leave the mall before it got to racing through a store.
Theresa Fleming August 23, 2011 at 01:20 AM
I'm sorry, but I think it does matter what Machine Gun Kelly says in his songs. Below are some links, is this really who we would want our 10 and 12 year old girls to follow? Do we really want our 16 year old sons and daughters to want to be like this? Are these the words we want our children to use? To read the words in some of Machine Gun Kelly's songs, simply copy and paste these links: http://www.lyricsbox.com/machine-gun-kelly-lyrics-cleveland-67tc94w.html http://www.lyricsbox.com/machine-gun-kelly-lyrics-the-return-4g6vc2k.html http://www.lyricsbox.com/machine-gun-kelly-lyrics-salute-z8lhtgr.html http://www.lyricsbox.com/machine-gun-kelly-lyrics-cleveland-67tc94w.html Seems to me there are two issues, should they have the "right" to frighten and intimidate all of the other families that were at the mall that day? Answer-Obviously, NO. And is Machine Gun Kelly really the role model we want our kids to follow? Do we want our children to be like him, to talk like him? Because if we don't, then we better make sure they aren't listening to him!
Carla Houdek August 24, 2011 at 12:38 AM
People need to understand that the term "flash mob" is being used to describe two very different things. The original Flash Mobs, are choreographed groups that seek permission to gather and entertain a crowd in a surprising and organized manner. They rehearse what is going to happen. The current version, like what happened in Southpark this Saturday, just means groups of people that show up because they were summoned by a mass tweet or facebook post. VERY DIFFERENT. Just because the same verbiage is used, the original types of events shouldn't be looked down on. These new events are unsupervised, unmanaged and definitely dangerous. Almost like a riot. Please everyone, figure out that we have two very different things going on!!!!!
Debbie Palmer August 24, 2011 at 11:43 AM
The police chief agrees with you, Carla. He's against regulating "flash mobs" because there's a big difference between an organized dance routine and a potentially violent gathering.
Janice Krusoczky August 24, 2011 at 04:53 PM
Theresa, are you going to tell Victoria Secret to change it's window display which sends a poor message to our young daughters, too?
Janice Krusoczky August 24, 2011 at 04:54 PM
The problem is the huge rush of bodies and feet on tables we eat on.

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