Occupy MN protesters set up tents outside US Bank Plaza, cops arrest seven [UPDATE]
|Police tore up one of the tents shortly after it went up, but have left others.|
This was not an empty threat: Around 12:45 p.m. this afternoon, 50 protesters set up camp in the intersection outside the building, putting up four tents. Police ripped three of the crude pup tents apart, but a camping tent and one tarp tent remained. Around 50 protesters are still occupying the road at the intersection of 6th Street and 2nd Avenue downtown.
For the moment, at least a dozen police are looking on, but seem to be letting the protesters have their moment.
UPDATE: Eventually, the cops told everyone to beat it. Seven protesters refused to budge, and each of them was arrested.
|Cops bust up pup tents.|
As the protest was going on outside, inside the building, a group of occupiers secretly gathered on the twelfth floor and assembled a conventional camping tent. Their plan was to load it onto an elevator and ride to the second floor, where there is a US Bank branch location, and "occupy" the busy hallway in front of it.
The plan was thwarted, however, by slow elevators and one incensed office building worker.
"Some dickhead called security," says Misty Rowan, one of the protesters who assembled the tent.
|Katrina Plotz being led away in cuffs.|
As a backup, the protesters decided to occupy the intersection and block traffic.
UPDATE: After a while, more Minneapolis police arrived on the scene, warning protesters that they'd need to get out of the street or face arrest. Nearly all of them followed this warning, but seven protesters refused, defying the orders and staying in the middle of the street.
The police lived up to their word: After a third warning, they moved in, and calmly arrested the people still in the street, who went into custody without incident. As other, more compliant protesters looked on, police also destroyed the remaining clear tent that had been set up by protesters.
The seven arrestees are Peter Leeman, Devin Wynn, Ben Egerman, Katrina Plotz, Merritt Benton, Misty Rowan and Jason St. John.