Protesters identifying with Black Lives Matter have blocked a number of transit lines in Minneapolis in the hours before Super Bowl 52. The protesters explained their rationale in a statement:

Activists are using this moment to stand with athletes who have protested throughout the past two football seasons calling attention to the murder of Black people by police and to the City of Minneapolis’ banning city residents from using public transit without a Super Bowl ticket.

About 100 protesters shut down West Bank station.

About 100 protesters are blocking east and westbound light rail greenline at West Bank station. Chanting, “If you shut us out, we shut you down.”

— bengarvin (@bengarvin) February 4, 2018

#BlackLivesMatter protesters shutting down light rail traffic to #SuperBowl2018 right now

— bengarvin (@bengarvin) February 4, 2018

As game time approached, policed moved in with plans to disperse the protesters.

Police at the #Minneapolis #SuperBowl #BlackLivesMatter light rail blockade said over a loudspeaker “anyone on the platform will be arrested” but nobody seems to be going anywhere. #SuperBowl52 #SBLIIBLACKOUT #SuperBowlLII #SuperBowlLive #SBLII #SBL

— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) February 4, 2018

Some protesters physically locked themselves near the tracks.

We are locked in #SBLIIBlackout #StopPlayingStartPaying

— Black Visions Collective (@BlackLivesMpls) February 4, 2018

The NFL has been a political lightning rod this year, with some athletes kneeling in protest of police brutality and Trump attacking the players — and the league for failing to silence them.

UPDATE: At around 5:30, an hour before kickoff, police were able to clear at least one station of protesters.

Police struggle to clear last protester from tracks, locked to fence with bike lock. Light rail tracks at West Bank station now clear #SuperBowl2018

— bengarvin (@bengarvin) February 4, 2018

At least 17 people were arrested.

Chief Harrington, Metro Transit PD Chief told our @KSTP crew they’ve made about 17 arrests as of now.

— Kirsten Swanson (@KirstenKSTP) February 4, 2018

This is a breaking news post and will be updated.  

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