While many will gather around their television sets for Super Bowl 52 on Feb. 4, more than a dozen community organizations in Minneapolis will join together to protest against the game and the NFL at the Anti-Racist, Anti-Corporate Rally.
Clyde Bellecourt, founder and national director of the American Indian Movement, and other activists gathered for a press conference on Friday, Jan. 26 at the atrium in City Hall to spread the word about the protest. “We know this is going to be a police zone, this whole area downtown,” said Bellecourt of the heavy police presence that has surrounded downtown Minneapolis since the start of Super Bowl LIVE, a free concert series that began Friday on Nicollet Mall. “But that never stopped us in the past and that’s not going to stop us in the future,” he added.
Demonstrators plan to meet at Peavy Park in Minneapolis to rally before marching to U.S. Bank Stadium where Super Bowl LII will take place. The rally is in response to police brutality and police killings across the country; the poor treatment and displacement of homeless people by the city; and the way the “NFL took over the city,” said Jess Sundin of the Anti-War Committee.
Sundin went on to state that the group’s demands are to “jail killer cops, end police violence, [and obtain] justice for stolen lives. We want to see our cities invest in people, not corporations. We want economic justice. We don’t want our cities to be playgrounds for billionaires.
“We are thinking about things like the mistreatment of homeless people, stories about women getting exploited and sex trafficked — this isn’t the kind of playground we want our city to be,” continued, Sundin. “We want the NFL to support the players — all the players that have taken a knee are setting an example.
“There’s a whole section of our community that sees the Super Bowl not as a party, but as a problem. We will be marching on Feb. 4 to demand solutions, not parties!”
So far, the Anti-Racist, Anti-Corporate Rally appears to be the largest protest planned against the NFL and Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis. Over 400 people have RSVP’d on the Facebook event page.
In addition to the Anti-War Committee and American Indian Movement, some of the other organizations that plan to protest include Asamblea de Derechos Civiles, Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB), Filipinx for Immigrant rights and Racial Justice in Minnesota – FIRM, Take A Knee Nation, Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar, Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) and a host of others.
Chris Juhn welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.