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Justice 4 Jamar calls for a week of 'resistance' around Super Bowl LII

The group argues the city should be using resources to fix its problems – not host the big game.
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A few days after the two-year anniversary of the killing of Jamar Clark, activists say they're planning multiple protests during next year's Super Bowl festivities.

The Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar was joined by other activist groups, including the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee, to call for a "week of protests and resistance" when the Super Bowl arrives in Minneapolis.

Super Bowl-related events are set to kick off Jan. 26, leading into the Feb. 4 game.

Announcing the action, coalition organizer Loretta VanPelt criticized the city and state for laying out the red carpet and spending money to host the showpiece for the mega-rich NFL, while problems at home remain unaddressed.

She cited police brutality she argues has not improved since Clark's shooting death at the hands of police in 2015, as well as the Colin Kaepernick-led protests that have provoked debate within the NFL itself.

She also referred to growing anti-immigrant sentiment and the current debate regarding sexual harassment of women. For these reasons as well as for Jamar Clark, VanPelt says they will be active come February.

"The city is spending more time and more of our money to host next year's Super Bowl than to deal with police violence and the other problems right in front of us," she said. "Homeless people will be moved to temporary centers out of sight of the Super Bowl, the light rail trains we paid for will be closed to the people who live here on game day, and if the bus drivers don't have a contract by then, a strike will leave the rest of us without public transit at all."

She added: "It's not to right to whitewash Minnesota for all of those rich out-of-town visitors, with their $4,000 tickets to the game, but fail to meet the needs of our neighbors right now."

Specific details of any protest action have not been revealed at this stage, with more information expected in the weeks ahead.

A vigil for Jamar Clark was held in Minneapolis on Wednesday, two years to the day Clark was killed in north Minneapolis, a death that sparked days of protests at the city's 4th police precinct.

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