On January 1 during the Vikings-Bears New Year’s game at U.S. Bank Stadium, Karl Scogin Zimmerman and Sen Holiday suspended themselves from the rafters of U.S. Bank Stadium. Displaying a banner that said #NoDAPL and “US Bank Divest,” the protesters hung from the rafters to bring attention to the protests in Cannonball, North Dakota, where a pipeline is planned to run underneath the Missouri River.
For several months, Native American tribes and their allies have been demonstrating to stop the pipeline, which they say would have a negative impact on the people of Standing Rock Indian Reservation and many of the cities south of the reservation were it to leak.
Shortly after the second quarter of the game, the protesters put the banner up and suspended themselves from the rafters, where they stayed until after the game was over. While the game continued to play, most of the fans had noticed the protesters, many booing them, shouting, and some throwing items at them.
One fan shouted, “Why don’t you just shoot them?” A police officer silenced him and said that was “not an appropriate thing, ever.”
The police cleared rows of seating below the protesters and cleared part of the concourse to prepare for the protesters’ descent. While the game continued, police, firefighters, and paramedics gathered at the bottom of the rafter the protesters climbed in preparation to arrest them.
After the game ended, Zimmerman and Holiday climbed up the rope from which they were suspended with ascension gear and made their way down the ladder of the rafters, where they were faced with a group of angry fans. During the entire setup the stadium managed to clear the area successfully and separate the line of fans from protesters to avoid any incident.
Zimmerman and Holiday peacefully surrendered after they got their message across. They were then brought to Hennepin County Medical Center where they were cleared of any injuries and then booked at the Hennepin County Jail. Zimmerman is being charged with burglary and possession of burglary and theft tools. Holiday is being charged with burglary. Both are on hold without bail.
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All photos by Chris Juhn