Oil pipeline protesters unfurl banner during Vikings game

Credit: Andrew VanDemark

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (AP) – Minneapolis police have arrested two Dakota Access oil pipeline protesters who unfurled a huge banner inside U.S. Bank Stadium during a Minnesota Vikings game.

The man and woman were arrested Sunday afternoon after climbing into a catwalk just after the Vikings’ season finale against the Chicago Bears ended around 3 p.m.

Police spokesman Officer Corey Schmidt says the pair was seen by medical staff but declined treatment. He says they’ll be booked into the Hennepin County Jail for trespassing.

Schmidt says police will investigate for possible further charges.

Play continued on the field while the huge banner was unfurled, but rows below were cleared of fans as a precaution. No one was hurt.

The banner urged Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank to divest from the four-state, $3.8 billion pipeline. A U.S. Bank spokesman declined comment.
Protesters against the Dakota Access oil pipeline unfurled a banner inside U.S. Bank Stadium during the Minnesota Vikings’ season finale against the Chicago Bears.

Play was not interrupted on the field during Sunday’s game, but eight rows of fans below the banner were cleared as a precaution.

The banner urged Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank to divest from the four-state, $3.8 billion pipeline. Opponents contend the pipeline could affect drinking water and Native American artifacts. Texas-based developer Energy Transfer Partners says the pipeline will be safe.

In a statement, stadium operator SMG says two people climbed over a guard rail to access the ridge truss. Police are negotiating with the protesters to come down.

Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley says the team’s only concern is about the “safety of our fans and guests.”

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