Massive #DivestFromDAPL Banner Unfurled During Vikings Game at US Bank Stadium

Minneapolis, MN – Water protectors climbed hundreds of feet up a ladder in the top section of US Bank Stadium and unfurled a 10 foot by 40 foot banner that read “US Bank DIVEST #NoDAPL” in the second quarter of the last Minnesota Vikings game of the season. Three people were arrested on charges of burglary for this latest action in solidarity with the water protectors struggling to prevent the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

[UPDATE – 1/2/17 5:15 pm CST: All three of the arrested participants in this action have been released with no charges.]

Over 60,000 fans were in attendance as the Vikings closed out their season with a game against the Chicago Bears, and by the fourth quarter, they were all aware of the massive banner reading “DIVEST” hanging overhead.

The two people who hung from ropes to display their divestment message were arrested and charged with burglary. One of the two is also being charged with possession of burglary or theft tools. All of those charges are gross misdemeanors.

Water Protectors Scale Ladder to Unfurl #DivestFromDAPL Banner

Another person who was next to the protectors when they started their climb up the ladder in the early stages of the second quarter was also arrested and charged with burglary and trespassing. All were held without bail on probable cause until Tuesday, when they were released with no charges.

Water Protectors Start to Unfurl #DivestFromDAPL Banner

The banner droppers took the ladder up to the catwalk/plank and used harnesses and ropes to rappel down and attach the banner to the ropes. They remained hanging from the beginning of the second quarter until the end of the game.

10 x 40 foot “US Bank DIVEST #NoDAPL” Banner

We spoke to Nina Roberson, a spokesperson for the group about the action. Speaking about the climbers, they said:

The two water protectors who hung the banner are experienced climbers and kept safety concerns in mind, remembering that the Dakota Access Pipeline is the biggest safety concern at hand.” – Nina Roberson, Water Protector

Banner Seen From Between Two Minneapolis Police Officers Across the Stadium

After multiple attempts at communication from Minneapolis police to the banner droppers and the spokespeople for the action, the police weren’t able to persuade the banner droppers to stop their action before the end of the game.

In the middle of the fourth quarter, after failed attempts by the police to talk down the water protectors, firefighters walked the ladder and waited on the plank for the banner droppers to come back up.

Firefighters Climb Ladder to Reach Plank Where Banner Droppers Hang From

Unicorn Riot went live in the middle of the fourth quarter to recap the situation.

Watch the live feed from inside the US Bank Stadium below:

Accompanied by a smattering of fear and booing, seven rows of seats in the section below the banner droppers were cleared by stadium security and authorities.

Seats Below Banner Cleared by Authorities

In a stroke of irony, tourist advertisements for North Dakota were seen on the massive television screens inside the stadium as water protectors hung beside the “DIVEST” banner. The Counting Crows’ “Hanginaround” played over the stadium speakers as the water protectors gracefully ascended back to the catwalk.

North Dakota Advertisements next to “DIVEST” Banner

To hear the radio conversations by the security and police on the stadium police scanner, click here.

One of the banner hanging water protectors gave this video testimony while hanging from ropes hundreds of feet in the air:

A recently formulated group, called Minneapolis #NoDAPL, has put out a press release (available below) which explains the group’s reasoning for this highly visible action.

press release

Although this action came on the first of the month, spokespeople for the action announce that it was the finale in the Global Month of #NoDAPL Action that started at Wells Fargo’s corporate office in Minneapolis just blocks away from the US Bank Stadium.

As trial dates loom for the over 500 arrested water protectors and journalists, and the grand jury proceedings begin this first week of January, Unicorn Riot will continue to regularly provide direct updates about resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Follow our media on Twitter, Facebook, and our website for more information.

Watch our interview with one of the banner droppers below and read our article here:

To help our volunteer-operated, horizontally-organized, non-profit media collective please consider a tax-deductible donation:

Below is Unicorn Riot's coverage of the #NoDAPL anti-Dakota Access Pipeline struggle from early summer 2016 to present:

Watch our feature-length documentary, Black Snake Killaz: A #NoDAPL Story

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