• Tue. Jan 31st, 2023

Black Lives Matter shuts down Minneapolis transit on game day

Black Lives Matter Global Network protesters block bus service at the Minneapolis stadium where the Super Bowl was being planed Sunday. Photo provided

By Kelsea Wilkerson

Black Lives Matter Global Network

MINNEAPOLIS- More than a hundred activists joined leaders representing the Movement for Black Lives; including the Black Lives Matter Network, BYP100, St. Louis Action Council and the BlackOUT Collective, on Super Bowl Sunday to shut down several critical transit lines in Minneapolis, chanting, carrying banners, and wearing T-shirts saying “You can’t play with Black lives!”

Activists used this moment to stand in solidarity with athletes who called attention to the murder of Black people by police over the last two football seasons, and to the City of Minneapolis banning city residents from using public transit without a Super Bowl ticket primarily impacting people of color who rely on it to get to and from work.

Seventeen activists were arrested on site.       .

Minneapolis police at the Super Bowl arrest a Black Lives Matter protester. Photo provided

“We’re calling attention to the many ways the Super Bowl negatively impacts communities of color,” said Miski Noor of Black Visions Collective, the Minneapolis chapter of the Black Lives Matter Global Network. “From banning our use of public transit to the presence of ICE, to gentrification invading our neighborhoods, Super Bowl LII illustrates the disconnect between American ideals and our lived reality. Our actions this past week highlighted the threat of visibility, criminalization, and incarceration against communities of color. We stood up to our city and the NFL’s destruction of Black, brown and poor communities and let it be known the we are here to stay, and demand to be heard.”

The transit action Sunday concluded a week of counter actions against Super Bowl LII that included a banner drop at NFL press conference opening night, a rent strike action featuring several local community members, a unity people’s party for Black joy, and a protest calling for DACA renewal.