Black Lives Matter St. Paul intends to hold a rally to disrupt operations at the Minnesota State Fair during its opening weekend, the group announced Thursday.
Dubbed #BlackFair, organizers plan to protest St. Paul police shootings and alleged racial disparities at Minnesotaâ€™s largest community gathering during a march and demonstration outside the gates. Beginning at 11 a.m. on Aug. 29, supporters will march from Hamline Park down Snelling Avenue to the State Fair gates, disrupting traffic along their route.
â€œThe Minnesota State Fair profits millions of dollars every year, and every year continues to deny black and other minority business owners the opportunity of being a vendor at the fair,â€ the group said in a released statement Thursday. â€œBoth the Minnesota State Fair and St. Paul Police Department are driven by money over people and white supremacy, which made it easy to choose the location for #BlackFair.â€
Protest organizer Rashad Turner was unable to be reached for comment Thursday night.
As of 11:15 p.m., 85 people said they planned to attend on the eventâ€™s Facebook page. One commenter asked what the rally would accomplish by disturbing vendors and guests, which sparked dozens of replies about the merit of such an audience.
Another suggested the group instead register for an educational booth at the fair to disseminate their message.
The 12-day fair begins Aug. 27 and concludes on Labor Day, Sept. 7. Saturdays often see the highest foot traffic and last yearâ€™s fair set an attendance record.