Stadium Anger Confronts City Council President

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In this video: Minneapolis City Council President Barbara Johnson, strong supporter of the City of Minneapolis Viking Stadium financing, tries to enter an elevator filled with anti stadium protestors on their way to the council chambers and the mayor’s office. She is recognized and greeted with shouts of, “Shame on Johnson.” She abandons the elevator and takes the stairway down.

The confrontation came as a group of angry protestors met in front of Minneapolis City Hall to protest the city buying in to the Viking stadium financing plan. Objections included the mayor and council refusing to put the issue to a city-wide vote and a question of priorities given the lasting tornado damage on the north side and other civic needs.

Council members Cam Gordon and Gary Schiff, both vocal opponents of the plan, addresses the group. They are are two of the six council members opposing the seven member majority. Their objections included the referendum and priority issues and the legality of the move. The state legislature enacted a law requiring a city to submit similar issues to a referendum vote. Cam Gordon described it as, “Fiscally irresponsible.”

Corporate “Wilfare”
Gary Schiff characterized it as, “Corporate welfare for a company that employs hundreds of people in one city.”

The group moved into City Hall and up to the council chambers and Mayor Rybak’s office. Both were closed but messages were left. Council President Johnson was trying to leave her office when she encountered the protestors.

The issue was considered by a committee of the entire council on May 24, and it passed seven to six. The council was scheduled to take final action on Friday, May 25, 2012,

Bill Sorem

Bill Sorem is a longtime advertising professional who started with Campbell Mithun and ended up with his own agency. After a tour as a sailing fleet manager in the Virgin Islands he turned to database programming as an independent consultant. He has written sailing guides for the British Virgin Islands and Belize, and written for a number of blogs. In 2010, he volunteered as a citizen journalist with The UpTake and has stayed on as a video reporter.

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