Super Bowl LII - "No Justice No Game"
This weekend I spent some time with community members & activists, gathered in Minneapolis’ Peavy Park, against the toxic forces of racism and corporate capitalism perpetuated through the NFL (National Football League), and paid for by the citizens of Minneapolis, against taxpayer wishes. The city of Minneapolis also shut down streets within a 6 mile radius of the stadium and enforced military surveillance and occupation of the area a week prior to Super Bowl LII. This caused frustration for many citizens, as they attempted to navigate transportation to/from work and school. Many cyclists were forced to endure checkpoints and faced risk of arrest. ICE also announced a full scale occupation of the area throughout the length of SB 52 events. The increased security presence put at risk the lives and safety of the local community, consisting largely of people experiencing homelessness, sex workers, people of color, immigrants, and other marginalized identities most endangered by the policing.
On Sunday, a few hours before the game was set to begin, the community shaking of cold prepared to march to the site of Super Bowl LII (52), at U.S. Bank Stadium -- where they later knelt in honor of Colin Kaepernick and others who have faced backlash following kneeling during the national anthem.
The quickly growing crowd watched as a performance by local, traditional Aztec artists “Kalpulli Yaocenoxtli” unfolded before them, followed by speeches by several local leaders & organizers.
Joining in chants and music, the energy remained lively. This only built as time went on, even as the crowd of protesters donned several layers of clothing, tightly gripping hand warmers in attempts to fight the bitter cold.
The scheduled time of the march was delayed, as organizers negotiated with police to move an arranged barricade. The barricade blocking a small caravan of vehicles for accessibility from following.
SPONSORING AND SUPPORTING ORGANIZATIONS INCLUDE: Afscme Local 2822, AFSCME 3800, American Indian Movement, Anti-War Committee, Asamblea de Derechos Civiles, Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB), Filipinx for Immigrant rights and Racial justice in Minnesota - FIRM, Freedom Road Socialist Organization - Twin Cities, @LatinoAltROCK, MIRAC - Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee, Minnesota Neighbors for Justice, Women's March Minnesota, Native Lives Matter, The New North, Rise Up Times, Students for a Democratic Society at the University of Minnesota, SURJ MN: Showing Up for Racial Justice - Minnesota, Take A Knee Nation, Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar, Women Against Military Madness (WAMM)
Simultaneously actions were taking place a few miles away, at the West Bank Green Line Station. There, activists and organizers from Black Visions Collective had gathered to strategically shut down the light rail — reserved only for Super Bowl ticket holders the week of the event — by chaining themselves to the platforms. This maneuver effectively shut down light rail traffic during the some of the highest hours of traffic headed towards the big game. This is especially notable because the light rail had been designed the only way for ticket holders to enter the stadium. This action did result in several arrests — please consider supporting their bail fund here.
Local activists also organized action inside the stadium, displaying a banner during the game which listed the phrase:
D I V E S T
A lot of direct action took place today, organized by several incredible organizations, collectives, and individuals committed to fighting for liberation, equity, safety, and recognition of marginalized communities. And to saying #NoJusticeNoGame, because let’s be real: fuck the NFL and it’s toxically corporate, racist practices.