MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Dozens of protesters formed a human barricade to block light rail tracks at a platform near U.S. Bank Stadium ahead of the Super Bowl, chaining themselves to both the platform and others in an attempt to stop service for ticket holders.
It was just one of several events across the metro area Sunday meant to bring awareness to issues of police brutality, corporate greed and general racism in the Twin Cities community.
At what turned out to be the afternoon's largest gathering, more than 50 people wearing T-shirts emblazoned with "You can't play with Black lives" blocked train tracks at the West Bank light rail station near U.S. Bank Stadium just after 2 p.m. Several protesters even locked themselves to the train platform using U-shaped bicycle locks and linked themselves to each other across the tracks using large plastic sleeves, with authorities cutting several of the devices using bolt cutters and other implements in order to clear the scene.
Both the eastbound and westbound tracks were blocked for more than an hour, with police removing and subsequently releasing 17 people from the scene. The scene has since been cleared, according to authorities, with no injuries reported.
According to Metro Transit spokesperson Howie Padilla, normal service from the station was shut down for the day due to Super Bowl security, with replacement buses running in place of the trains. One train carrying Super Bowl ticket holders was stopped due to the demonstration, though Metro Transit had a bus waiting to get them to the game "in plenty of time for kickoff, Padilla said.
Organizers of the event included the Black Lives Matter Network, BYP100, St. Louis Action Council and the BlackOUT Collective.