Group said it plans to protest, disrupt State Fair

Published 4:55 pm Saturday, August 22, 2015

ST. PAUL — A group called Black Lives Matter St. Paul said it plans a rally to disrupt operations at the Minnesota State Fair.

The group said it wants to protest shootings by St. Paul police as well as racial disparities at the annual event. They say they will march down Snelling Avenue to the State Fair’s gates next week as the fair opens, disrupting traffic along their route.

The group said the fair generates millions in profits each year without allowing minorities a fair shot at vendor slots.

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Fair general manager Jerry Hammer said that isn’t true. He said vendor selection is a blind process. Hammer also said he’d guarantee exhibit space for Black Lives Matter if they register for it.

The 12-day fair starts Thursday.