Several hundred people marched outside Super Bowl Opening Night on Monday in a peaceful protest fronted by the Minnesota chapter of Black Lives Matter.
On Monday, banners were dropped by members of Black Lives Matter and Antifa during the Super Bowl LII’s media event warning that “#WeReadyWeComin.” Minutes before the New England Patriots’ media session began the group strode past the Xcel Energy Center, chanting and holding signs to voice their displeasure at a range of topics. As the two large banners were dropped inside, hundreds of leftist protesters marched in the streets and blocked traffic surrounding the event at the Xcel Energy Center. Many of the demonstrators have formed an Antifa-aligned group calling themselves the “Super Bowl Anti-Racist Anti-Corporate Coalition.”
In a press release on Monday, BLM drew attention to the negative impact of the Super Bowl on people of color.
“The NFL and the City of Minneapolis have failed to provide critical resources to vulnerable communities and have increased potential harm to residents through intensified surveillance of people of color and immigrants, a ban on access public transportation without a Superbowl ticket, and increased violence on Black trans women and sex workers,” the release read.
According to their Facebook page, the group is planning to hold protests every day leading up to the main event. “Their plans will culminate on Sunday, February 4, with a 3pm rally at Peavey Park (Franklin & Chicago Ave), followed by a march to US Bank Stadium,” the page states.
“The banner drop and rally/march marks the first day of the week of protests surrounding SB52. The Super Bowl brings with it a SEAR-I designation, which has resulted in the Minnesota’s largest security operation in the history of the state,” the anarchist website Unicorn Riot reports.
The National Guard, multiple federal agencies, and law enforcement from across the nation have been in Minneapolis since the 26th in preparation for the sporting event.
The protest was populated by a coalition of various interest and action groups, from those speaking out for racial equality to teachers and workers rights groups.Groups planning to protest the Super Bowl 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, MIRAC – Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee, Minnesota Neighbors for Justice, Native Lives Matter, 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, and Women Against Military Madness (WAMM).
The rest of the week will include a rent strike action featuring several local community members, a unity people’s party for Black joy, and protests calling for DACA renewal that will culminate the day of Super Bowl LII.
**Current Event Listing**
Friday, Feb 2: 4:30 – 6pm
What: Action to Support a Responsible Contractor Policy and DACA Renewal
Who: Centro de Trabajadores en Lucha (CTUL), Home Depot Retail Janitors
When: February 2nd, 4:30-6pm
Where: Home Depot at the Quarry, 14520 New Brighton Blvd, Minneapolis MN
Saturday, Feb 3: 7am-9am
What: Breakfast to Honor Workers & Community Members Fighting for a Living Wage
Who: Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL)
When: February 3rd, 7-9am
Where: Minneapolis Hilton, 1001 Marquette Ave, Minneapolis MN, 55403
What: Rally to Stop US Bank from Funding Pipelines
Who: MN350, Water Protectors from South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Beyond
When: February 3rd, 12:30-3:30pm
Where: US Bank Headquarters, 800 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55402
What: Protest to Remove Police Officers from Public Schools
Who: Young People’s Action Coalition (YPAC)
When: February 3, 3-4:30pm
Where: 3940 Pillsbury Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55409
What: Taste of Justice Event to Support Franklin St. Bakery Workers
Who: BCGTM Local 22, Franklin St. Bakery Workers
When: February 3rd, 5-8pm
Where: St. Paul’s Regional Labor Federation, 353 West 7th St, St. Paul, MN 55102
Nearly 3,000 people have expressed interest in protesting on the Facebook event page.