Marathon protest stays peaceful

Daily Editorial Board

The protest organized by Black Lives Matter at the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday occurred without arrests. Though plans to interrupt the race surfaced, after meeting with St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, the group’s leader, Rashad Turner, assured officials that Black Lives Matter would abstain from blocking off the racecourse. 
 
For Turner, the decision to refrain from interrupting the race generated publicity because “all week that awareness is being created by the media, by people in the community talking about it,” he told MPR News on Thursday. Many runners showed solidarity by raising their fists acknowledging the protesters. Others were glad the protesters didn’t interrupt the finish but stated that they understood why this was an important venue to promote their cause. 
 
Still, some people expressed cynicism, especially before the announcement claiming the event would be peaceful. The Pioneer Press’ Joe Soucheray wrote Sept. 29 that the group’s decision to protest proves “once again that this group has an uncanny ability to show up where it makes the least sense.” In the wake of the event, however, the peaceful proceedings seemed to benefit the group without impeding the race. 
 
We are pleased that Black Lives Matter and the city of St. Paul found common ground and were able to implement a smooth plan of action. Effective protest doesn’t have to be intentionally confrontational in order to create a dialogue — and it seems that the marathon was, in fact, a good place for this to start.