At the Vikings’ final home game against the Bears, two protesters climbed the rafters of US Bank Stadium and unfurled a sign that read “Divest #NoDAPL.” Then they rappelled down from the ceiling.
This guy is repelling upside down inside US Bank Stadium pic.twitter.com/FWNjjQ7pYU— Dave Schwartz (@Dave_Schwartz) January 1, 2017
According to a press release, US Bank has $175 million in credit lines to one of the parent companies of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The pipeline would run from North Dakota to Illinois, carrying crude oil. A lot of people aren’t happy about it, including the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose land is located nearby.
One of them, the male, wearing a Brett Favre jersey, has been identified. According to St. Paul Pioneer Press reporter Brian Murphy, his name is Karl Zimmerman, and he’s from South Minneapolis.
We know this because these guys are literally ON THE PHONE WITH REPORTERS while they’re hanging up there. Lol you wild, Karl.
Protester in Favre jersey is waving and dabbing next to #NoDAPL sign. Can't make it up. #vikings pic.twitter.com/Adt963C0Yp— Brett Boese (@PBbboese) January 1, 2017
Classic Karl, probably. That’s one way to get people’s attention, although the hanging down from the ceiling was probably enough.
Here are more photos from a Star Tribune photographer.
#NoDAPL protesters hung a sign from the rafters of US Bank Stadium during the Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears Game. pic.twitter.com/Ad4vJh90uO— Carlos Gonzalez (@CarlosGphoto) January 1, 2017
From the looks of it, the sign might be hand-painted, which is absolutely crazy. It’s huge. The lettering is also very well done, I might add.
It’s unclear exactly how they got into the rafters in the first place, toting all their gear and this very large banner, though the stadium said they climbed a low wall.
Seats below were cleared, in case they fell.
Police have now moved folks in 7 rows below this climber guy. I'm guessing he is not planning to fall however. pic.twitter.com/S2hRc8UzYX— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) January 1, 2017
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. In 2015, protesters hung from the Panthers’ stadium roof to protest North Carolina Dominion Power, which was supported by Bank of America.
As of this publishing, both were still hanging. Security officers were waiting in the rafters. The fire department got involved as well.
Here’s an update from the stadium management.
Statement from stadium management: pic.twitter.com/SpAXOVdxBS— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) January 1, 2017
UPDATE: As of 4 p.m., the protesters came down. They were up there for more than an hour. Police gave them some time with media before booking them, though they did not answer many questions.
Person claiming to be rappeller kept repeating "I'm here to talk about US Bank's involvement in Dakota Access pipeline" after every question— Hobie Artigue (@HobieFOX9) January 1, 2017
They are being charged with trespassing, according to a police statement.
Watch the MPD spokesperson here.
Here's part of MPD's statement on the protest matter. Protesters being charged with trespassing. pic.twitter.com/xa6ExP1cOe— Hobie Artigue (@HobieFOX9) January 1, 2017