Protests took place at a campus light rail station in the hours leading up to the kickoff of Super Bowl LII.
Several protesters locked arms on the tracks in front of the West Bank light rail station, preventing trams from passing through. The West Bank station is only one stop away from the U.S. Bank Stadium. Metro Transit Police removed 17 people from the tracks around 4:30 p.m., none of whom were moved to detention centers, said Howie Padilla, a spokesperson for MTP.
West Bank station was shut down to the public Saturday night in preparation for the Super Bowl. One tram en route to the stadium was stopped by the protest, Padilla said. Passengers were transferred to a bus that was prepared as part of a contingency plan and taken to the venue.
Protesters seem to be affiliated with Black Visions Collective, an offshoot of the Minneapolis branch of Black Lives Matter, and were seen wearing matching shirts reading, “You can’t play with black lives.”
Throughout the demonstration, those on the train tracks spoke of the victims of police violence, along with descriptions of historical mistreatment toward African Americans. As a speaker listed grievances over a bullhorn, the others present responded with the chorus, “We always resisted.”
Several protesters locked themselves to fences by the neck using bike locks. Chants included “Black lives, they matter here,” and “Say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud.”