Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters Hang From Banner Over Bears-Vikings Game

By Chris Emma–

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (CBS) — As the Bears and Vikings played their season finale Sunday afternoon, two protesters dangled from the rafters of U.S. Bank Stadium.

A man and a woman were protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline by hanging down from a banner atop the stadium with the help of climbing gear and ropes. U.S. Bank has $175 million in credit lines to Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline, a project that critics say threatens the health of the Missouri River and violates treaty rights of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, according to a press release.

The protesters rappelled into place in the second quarter. Police cleared the section underneath the protesters, placing yellow tape to secure the perimeter of the six rows directly below. They hung in a seated position during the remainder of the game, a 38-10 Vikings win over the Bears. Afterward, they were removed, though their banner remained. They were arrested on trespassing charges, the Associated Press reported.

The Vikings issued a statement on the situation at halftime.

“Two individuals appear to have climbed over a guard rail 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. We will continue to update the media on the situation.”

The protesters dropped their banner down in the second quarter. The man was in a Brett Favre jersey and appeared to do the “Dab” at one point. As police surveyed the situation, the man in the Favre jersey was on a phone call. Their banner read “DIVEST,” with a U.S. Bank logo at the top.

Down on the field, many players and coaches, the Bears’ John Fox included, were completely unaware as they maintained focus on the game.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.

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