Occupy MN gets law enforcement OK for occupation of Government Plaza
|So far, so nice for Occupy MN.|
The plaza is public property, but organizers still met with the Hennepin County Sheriff's Department and the Minneapolis Police Department to discuss their plans. The protestors are converging in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement going on in New York City, and could be there for days if not weeks.
For now, at least, it appears all parties are playing it Minnesota-nice.
Occupy Wall Street has been raging on for three weeks, drawing an estimated 20,000 attendees. Solidarity occupations have popped up in Chicago, San Francisco and Boston, and barely two weeks ago, a group of student in Duluth conceptualized Occupy MN.
|Lead organizer Osha Karow says talks with police have been cordial and productive.|
Attendance estimates for the event have varied wildly from 200 people to 1,000, though 972 have RSVP'd so far on the Occupy MN Facebook page. Protestors will converge at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning to set up and do workshops, at 5 p.m. there will be an official kick-off rally, and at 7 p.m. the first meeting of the Occupy MN general assembly will take place.
The Hennepin County Sheriff has jurisdiction over the Government Plaza itself, while the Minneapolis police are of course responsible for downtown streets. In meetings with the sheriff, Occupy MN was told they will not need to obtain permits to be there, nor will they be removed so long as they keep things nice and legal. While the sheriff is OK with overnight guests in sleeping bags, things may get a little sticky when it comes to the group's plan to erect a tent city. The sheriff is also iffy about a bank of port-o-potties. Another meeting to iron out these issues is scheduled for this morning.
But so far, so good. Sheriff Rich Stanek was even quoted calling the occupiers "nice people."
A lot can happen in a short amount of time and Occupy MN is in it for the long haul. According to Osha Karow, one of the lead organizers, they do not plan on leaving until Occupy Wall Street's general assembly has had their demands met. We'll keep you updated as the protest continues to evolve.
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