Activists highlight the poor as rich party at Super Bowl
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.
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.