Ac­tivists high­light the poor as rich party at Su­per Bowl

Hawaii Tribune Herald - - NEWS -

MIN­NEAPO­LIS — So­cial ac­tivists say Min­neapo­lis is turn­ing into a play­ground for the rich dur­ing Su­per Bowl week, and crit­ics are us­ing the spec­ta­cle to rally against eco­nomic in­jus­tice.

Ac­tivists say the Su­per Bowl rep­re­sents the pin­na­cle of cor­po­rate greed with its ex­pen­sive ticket prices, lav­ish par­ties and ex­clu­sive din­ners. They note that as wealthy foot­ball fans are cel­e­brat­ing, dozens of home­less peo­ple are dis­placed be­cause their shel­ter was in­side the se­cure area around U.S. Bank Sta­dium.

“There is a full sec­tion of our com­mu­nity that sees the Su­per Bowl not as a party, but as a prob­lem,” said Jess Sundin, an or­ga­nizer for a coali­tion of com­mu­nity groups speak­ing out against racism and cor­po­rate greed.

The Min­nesota Su­per Bowl Host Com­mit­tee says it’s fo­cused on putting on a safe and suc­cess­ful fes­ti­val where all are wel­come and ev­ery­one is re­spected. Su­per Bowl Live, one of the main at­trac­tions sur­round­ing the game, is free and open to the pub­lic. The host com­mit­tee also used this op­por­tu­nity to give out about $5 mil­lion in com­mu­nity grants — most to help chil­dren liv­ing in poverty and kids of color.

“We have worked with lo­cal pub­lic safety of­fi­cials and com­mu­nity stake­hold­ers for more than two years to cre­ate a wel­com­ing en­vi­ron­ment … and we in­vite all Min­nesotans to come and share in the ex­cite­ment,” host com­mit­tee spokesman Michael Howard said in a state­ment.

Planned ac­tions this week in­clude a march and rally out­side U.S. Bank Sta­dium be­fore Sun­day’s game to protest cor­po­rate greed and racism. The Min­neapo­lis chap­ter of Black Lives Mat­ter also plans ral­lies to de­mand renter’s rights, liv­ing wages and the re­newal of a pro­gram to pro­tect young im­mi­grants from de­por­ta­tion.

One group called Take a Knee Na­tion is hold­ing a two-day con­fer­ence against po­lice vi­o­lence.

As­so­ci­ated Press

Clyde Bel­le­court, co-founder of the Amer­i­can In­dian Move­ment, speaks Jan. 26 at Min­neapo­lis City Hall about ac­tivists’ plans for protests dur­ing the Su­per Bowl.

Tri­bune-Her­ald

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