ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - Metro Transit officials temporarily suspended Green Line light rail service and added buses to ensure fans could make it to the Vikings home opener despite a planned Black Lives Matter protest responding to alleged police brutality in August.
“Sunday September 20th is the Minnesota Vikings’ home opener, big money day, so what better day to shut the light rail down and disrupt business as usual,” the group said in a press release. “Enough is enough of business as usual! We must bring an end to white supremacy and the status quo.”
Black Lives Matter Saint Paul was referring to an incident on Aug. 31 when Marcus Abrams, a 17-year-old with autism, "was beaten into multiple seizures by a group of Metro Transit police officers.” On Sunday, the group will be joined by Abrams and his mother “to talk about autism, police brutality, and bringing an end to white supremacy.”
One group opposing the effort participated, and followed closely, carrying a Confederate flag behind the demonstration.
The demonstration commenced around 9:30 a.m. in St. Paul south of University Ave. on Lexington across from Dairy Queen. The light rail Green Line runs along University Avenue and includes stops on the University of Minnesota campus, where the Vikings played at noon at TCF Bank Stadium.
Metro Transit buses replaced Green Line trains between the Snelling Avenue and the Capitol/Rice Street stations, and later between the Raymond Avenue and Capitol/Rice Street stations. Staff were on-hand to direct customers, and Metro Transit said they'll be keeping customers apprised with timely Twitter updates via @MetroTransitMN
Buses are replacing Green Line trains between the Snelling Avenue and Capitol/Rice Street stations. Staff are on hand to direct customers.— Metro Transit (@MetroTransitMN) September 20, 2015
3 people standing nearby holding the Confederate flag, counter demonstration. pic.twitter.com/LupiXn77kz— jonathan choe (@choefox9) September 20, 2015
Buses are now replacing Green Line trains between Raymond Avenue and Capitol/Rice Street stations. Staff are on hand to direct customers.— Metro Transit (@MetroTransitMN) September 20, 2015