Peaceful protest blocks Light Rail at Twins home opener, 25 arrested


Light Rail trains were blocked for a short time Monday afternoon as protesters gathered near Target Field in downtown Minneapolis ahead of the Twins' home opener.

Dozens of demonstrators gathered at a couple of intersections just before the 3:10 p.m. game: 7th Street and 1st Avenue (between Target Center and First Avenue), as well as 5th Street and 3rd Avenue (in front of the Target Field Light Rail station).

Metro Transit spokesperson Drew Kerr told BringMeTheNews Light Rail trains couldn't get in or out of Target Field station for about an hour during the protest, and vehicle traffic elsewhere had to be rerouted.

According to Kerr, officers on the scene warned demonstrators three times to get off the tracks – about 25 people who did not move were arrested. They were taken to Hennepin County Jail and face charges of trespassing and interfering with public transportation, Kerr said.

Nobody was reported injured, Kerr noted, adding it was "all very peaceful."

The protest was organized by a few groups, including Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, Catholic Workers and other faith organizations. They used the hashtag #faithppl4BlackLives on Twitter.

Here are some tweets from the scene:

What the protests were about

Black Lives Matter, in a news release, says the goal was to continue bringing attention to the Jamar Clark case, which they're asking to be re-opened and investigated.

The Hennepin County attorney decided charges against the officers involved in Clark's fatal shooting were not warranted; there is still a federal investigation ongoing.

Protesters also wanted to highlight conditions for contract workers at Target Field – MinnPost last fall broke down their issues, which concern scheduling practices and how paychecks are dispersed.

Part of the protest was also to encourage white people to take part in demonstrations, with the phrase "White silence=violence" (or something similar) used on signs and in social media posts.

“We are a primarily white group of people of faith under the guidance of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis," said Ruth Cole in the Black Lives Matter news release. "We are shutting down the Twins home opener to call our fellow white Minnesotans into deeper understanding of the violent racial inequalities that plague our state, that ultimately killed Jamar Clark, and that have granted his killers impunity.”

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