comScore

Black Lives Matter Minneapolis blocks light rail access to Twins home opener

The only way the light rail was making it through was by running one of these white people over.

The only way the light rail was making it through was by running one of these white people over.

The Minnesota Twins season was off to a rough start, with six straight losses on the road. The team was hoping to reset their year with Monday afternoon's home opener. 

There, things got off to a bad start, too, though for reasons that had nothing to do with baseball.

Dozens of protesters affiliated with Black Lives Matter Minneapolis used the public setting to draw yet more attention to the case of Jamar Clark, the 24-year-old black man killed by Minneapolis police officers last fall.

Bearing signs that read "Justice 4 Jamar" and "White Silence Kills," the activists stood on the tracks at two different intersections of the light rail, blocking and delaying one of the most commonly used methods to deliver Twins fans to the stadium.

The protest reached inside Target Field, too. During the national anthem, demonstrators briefly unfurled banners in dead center field. One read "Re-open Jamar's Case," a reference to cries for Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to reconsider his decision not to prosecute the two officers involve in Clark's shooting.

The other sign said "Target Field End Your Slave Labor." Both signs were visible for at least a couple of minutes. 

In a statement accompanying the demonstration, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis leaders said many of the protesters were white faith leaders and members of the Catholic Worker Movement. The white demonstrators were hoping to get the attention of other whites, and their sympathies, on a day when many would be coming out for the Twins game.

“We urge white Minnesotans to understand that the privileges that we benefit from daily due to the color of our skin have a cost," said Erica Sherwood. "The cost is the criminalization of black men. The cost is the way we white people and white police officers are conditioned to fear blackness. The cost is Jamar Clark’s life.”

KSTP reports the protests led to 25 arrests for trespassing and interfering with public transit. By 4:25, about an hour after the game's scheduled start, the Metro Transit announced the resumption light rail travel.