Protesters confront baseball bigwigs, 5 arrested
Minneapolis, MN - Chanting “Move the game! Move the game!”, 100 immigrants and supporters confronted a meeting of Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Bud Selig and team owners at a ritzy Minneapolis hotel on August 11, 2010. The protest was part of the national movement demanding that Major League Baseball move the 2011 All Star game out of Arizona unless the state repeals its recently passed anti-immigrant law, SB1070. Losing the All Star game would be a big blow to Arizona, resulting in an estimated $60 million loss of revenue. Thirty percent of MLB players are Latino, and many have spoken out against SB1070.
A delegation of five of the protesters - members of the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc) and U of M Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) - entered the hotel where the baseball owners were meeting in an effort to deliver 110,000 petitions directly to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig. As the delegation entered the hotel the police quickly handcuffed and arrested them, refusing to let them bring the petitions to Selig. Police also refused to allow Minneapolis City Council member Cam Gordon, who was present at the protest, to deliver the petitions to Selig in their place. As the five were arrested inside the hotel, the rally outside grew more spirited, with chants of “let them in!” and more chants of “move the game!”
Niger Arevalo of MIRAc spoke about the need to fight racist, anti-immigrant laws like SB1070 in Arizona, and also to fight anti-immigrant laws in Minnesota like HF3830 (the SB1070 copycat bill), 287g, and the recently-passed English-only law in Lino Lakes, MN. Carlos Roa from MoveTheGame.org said, “It is obvious that Commissioner Selig cares more about the profits of baseball than protecting the human and civil rights of players and fans. We won’t rest until Commissioner Selig and MLB team owners stand on the right side of history.” The other speakers at the rally were Minneapolis City Council member Cam Gordon (Ward 2, Green Party), American Indian Movement (AIM) leader Clyde Bellecourt, and Victor Contreras from Centro Campesino, who mobilized a bus load of people to the protest from Southern Minnesota.
The August 11 protest was organized by MIRAc and the Boycott Arizona-MN (BAM!) campaign. It was endorsed by MoveTheGame.org, Centro Campesino and SEIU Local 26.
Video from the August 11 “Move the Game” Protest (from Twin Cities Indymedia)