Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Name Has to Go: Super Bowl 26

I had bought my first Hi8 video camera just a couple weeks before this. It was small, a Sony TR30, I believe. I could carry it in my backpack, I could carry it in a pocket.

This was 1992. I was a student at the University of Minnesota and worked a night job that allowed me to sleep. So I had some extra times during the day. I filmed as much as I could that year, I filmed more than I could edit.

I lived in the Phillips Neighborhood of Minneapolis. I lived near Little Earth of United Tribes, which was the center of the American Indian community in the city. When the Super Bowl was coming to town, and one of the teams playing was the Washington, D.C. team, the American Indian Movement organized a conference and a protest to ask Washington to change the mascot of their football team, a racist derogative term.

I don't really remember filming this video, and am not sure why I never edited it (until now). At the time I usually liked to film interviews, and for this I just filmed the speeches and the march. I began filming at East Phillips Park, where Clyde Bellecourt, Paul Wellstone, and others spoke. I then followed the march to the Metrodome, where we circled the stadium and then listened to speeches from Vernon Bellecourt and others.

The Super Bowl is once again taking place in Minneapolis this weekend, and it is truly amazing to compare the level of security between the event in 1992 and 2018. In 1992, AIM has set up a teepee on the plaza right in front of the stadium entrance. We marched just a few feet from the open doors of the Metrodome. There were a few police officers around, but their presence was pretty minimal.

This year, a wall of chain link fence on concrete blocks surrounds the new U.S. Bank Stadium for a block. Downtown is peppered with National Guard humvees. It seems like there are hundreds of private security guards in downtown at any time. The comparison is simply unfathomable.

As I was finally editing this video, twenty-six years after I shot it, I had to do some searches to find the spellings of some of the names. It was sobering to see all the people in this video who have since passed on, from Vernon Bellecourt and Paul Wellstone to Brian Roberts, at the time a law student, Dixie Latu Riley, Matthew Little, and E. Randal T. Osburn. Look for a shot of Congressman Keith Ellison standing near me in the crowd around 4:45.

After I did this edited I found a few more minutes of Super Bowl video on another tape. That video had some issues, but I will try to edit a little out of that one too.

Thursday, February 1, 2018