For many in this uncertain new year, an important resolution is to participate in actions that support causes that build a better world and oppose those that stand in our way. Two protesters started 2017 off with an acrobatic bang when they lowered themselves and a #NoDAPL banner from the ceiling of U.S. Bank Stadium during a Minnesota Vikings – Chicago Bears football game on New Years Day. Appropriately channeling Spiderman and the Dark Knight, these real-life vigilantes risked arrest and injury to send a message that the water protectors are here to stay in 2017.
Secured with rappelling gear to a high metal truss that supports the roof of the stadium, the two protesters, Karl Mayo, 32, and Sen Holiday, 26, dangled next to their banner, which displayed the words "Divest," "U.S. Bank," and "#NoDAPL." Once the police had spotted the protesters, those sitting beneath the banner were removed from the area and authorities tried to convince Mayo and Holiday to come down. "It looked very official, so I don’t think many people noticed it at first," said Jordan Proctor, who attended the game. "People were watching and talking about it a lot at halftime." The game however was uninterrupted through the duration of the protest.
The protesters demanded that the media was present when they finally descended from their perch. Upon reaching solid ground, they were arrested and brought to jail on trespassing charges. They were later released and formal charges are expected to be filed on Tuesday. "We are here in solidarity with water protectors from Standing Rock to urge US Bank to divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline," said Holiday in a statement released by local reporters. A spokesperson for the Standing Rock Indian Reservation clarified that the protesters were not associated with the tribe. U.S. Bank Senior Vice President Dan Ripley did not offer comment, nor did a representative for the Minnesota Vikings.
Images via Christopher Juhn /MPR News