Dakota Access protesters rappel from rafters during Vikings-Bears game
By Robb Jeffries and Matt Wellens Today at 2:43 p.m.
Two protesters in rappelling gear hang from a large beam in the East end zone of U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday with a long vertical banner reading, “U.S. Bank DIVEST #NoDAPL,” during the second quarter of the Minnesota Vikings game against the Chicago Bears. Matt Wellens / Duluth News Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings season finale against the Chicago Bears on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis was disrupted in the second quarter by a demonstration protesting U.S. Bank’s involvement in the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Two people in rappelling gear hung from a large beam in the East end zone of U.S. Bank Stadium during the second quarter with a long vertical banner reading, “U.S. Bank DIVEST #NoDAPL.”

The protesters and banner hung above fans, forcing U.S. Bank Stadium security to clear approximately six rows of seats underneath the protesters and banner.
Play continued during the protest and the issue remained unresolved at halftime with the banner and two people still hanging from the beam.

A press release from activists identified the two climbers as Sen Holiday and Karl Zimmermann, “water protectors who stand in opposition of the Dakota Access Pipeline,” spokesperson Nina Roberson said.

The protesters are encouraging those with accounts with U.S. Bank to withdraw their funds from the bank, which has $175 million in credit lines to Energy Transfer Partners, a parent company of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The press release also reiterated common protest points, including the threat to drinking water that comes from the Missouri River.

“This pipeline is dangerous for any community it passes through. It wasn’t safe for the residents of Bismarck, and it’s not safe for the Standing Rock Sioux,” said Zimmermann in the press release.

A statement from U.S. Bank Stadium was handed out in the press box during halftime reading, “Two individuals appear to have climbed over a guardrail to access the ridge truss. We immediately dispatched on-site Minneapolis police and fire departments to the scene and cleared the seating section below. We are working with all stadium partners, and our primary focus is on the safety of the fans and these two individuals. Officials are actively working to get them down safely.”

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