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Marathon Organizers Plan for Black Lives Matter Protest

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The Twin Cities Marathon begins at 8 a.m. Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, the new home of the Minnesota Vikings, and ends near the Minnesota State Capitol -- but a group of protestors reportedly has plans to end the race sooner.

The St. Paul chapter of Black Lives Matter is planning a protest which leaders say will block the finish line and prevent runners from finishing the full 26.2 miles.

Organizer Rashad Turner says protestors will “become the finish line,” blocking the path of runners about a mile before the actual end of the race.

The Black Lives Matter group has protested in St. Paul before, causing disruptions to public transit. The protest is in response to recent allegations of police brutality in St. Paul. 

“Our job as an organization is to keep the pressure on,” Turner said. “Our job is to let the community know that every day we are planning on dismantling white supremacy.”

Turner said the goal of the marathon protest is to get runners to unite.

“My hope is marathon runners realize they’re not going to be able to finish this race and instead of being angry and complaining, that they join in in the protest and stand in solidarity because justice is all we are asking for,” Turner said. “I’m not concerned about them feeling threatened. We’ve always been non-violent, we’ve been peaceful.”

St. Paul police have made few arrests at other Black Lives Matter protests and rallies, but Turner acknowledges that participants in the marathon protests may be subject to arrest.

Meanwhile, marathon organizers have said that their plans focus on keeping everyone safe.

“We are working closely with city officials to ensure the safety of all participants, volunteers and spectators,” Marathon organizing group Twin Cities in Motion said in a statement. 

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