Occupy MN protesters barred from sleeping in Government Plaza starting Monday

Categories: Protest News
Stanek OccupyMN.jpg
Occupy MN Facebook
An occupier gets in Sheriff Rich Stanek's face outside the commissioner's meeting Tuesday.
Hennepin County commissioners voted unanimously in favor of enacting yet another raft of stricter rules on Occupy MN protesters camping out in Government Plaza.

According to the new restrictions, no one will be allowed to sleep in the plaza starting on Monday. For the past month, occupiers in sleeping bags have been spending the night on the plaza's grassy knoll, under the Government Center skyways, and on benches.

That will come to an end on Monday. Or, perhaps the fight is just beginning.

In a press release, the county listed its new rules, which also incorporate some of the same restrictions issued on November 2. Just as before, the county will not permit signs to be hung in the plaza, the portable toilets are out, and it will confiscate any unattended possessions.

The major new provision says no sleeping will be allowed in the plaza at all, effective Monday. However, the release says assembling and demonstrating is allowed any time of day.

"Until now, the county has never allowed, nor has there ever been a long-term 'occupation' of the plazas," the release reads. "This was a new and unexpected use of the plazas, which are not designed for camping or long-term occupation."

The last time the county tried to take down Occupy MN's signs, protesters risked arrest to stop them, and Hennepin County Sheriff's deputies backed off. The local chapter of the ACLU also entered the fray, warning that the county's actions were infringing on First Amendment rights. Now, the ACLU is looking into obtaining an injunction to stop the new rules from going into effect before the weekend.

Things are heating up, just as temperatures in the plaza are about to plummet to bone-chilling lows.

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9 comments
amiller92
amiller92

Also, the law enforcement officers who have been dealing with the protesters deserve a lot of praise, at least so far.  They were smart to back down on the sign issue last time, and I hope they show the same restraint in the inevitable conflict over these new rules.  Even if not having them in the plaza is a good thing, it isn't worth using violence to achieve.

amiller92
amiller92

This is incredibly stupid.  It's getting cold.  They will go away on their own soon enough anyway.  And even if they don't, who cares?

JonnyBeGood
JonnyBeGood

Keep up the good work protestors, unit and be strong.

HurdyGurdy
HurdyGurdy

An inevitable step; but it just means our occupiers are starting to scare the status quo. If the government tries to silence you with phony and out-of-the-blue laws, you must be doing something right. Keep it up occupiers! Law does not equal justice, and you are all tax-paying citizens. Exercise your right to exist!

Troy Blackford
Troy Blackford

It could also mean that the 'occupiers' are stuck to the street and nobody expected it to go on this long and that adults are now going to have to make practical considerations. Nobody's status quo is anything.

Sure you can exist there in a big pile in the plaza, but we all have to walk around you. If steps to walk around you are taken, don't get all excited about it.

And I should say I'm a 27 year old male democrat who really wants to help the economic disparity in our country. Participating in the 'occupy' protests never struck me as a useful thing to do. I'm exactly the person who 'gets' what would be the message of this 'occupy' thing if it had one, and I don't sympathize with the actual protests at all. Imagine what someone who thinks AGAINST you has as a reaction.

Michele Bachmann
Michele Bachmann

Before Occupy Wall Street the media was obsessed with the debt and other stupid issues.  Studies of media coverage indicates Occupy Wall Street has moved the conversation to the important issue of the day, jobs.  Protests are meant to be inconvenient and annoying, its the only way you can change the conversation.  

Research
Research

They want their message to be heard.  Because we are talking now about it means they succeeded there.  But now what?  The banks have that cocky attitude that they are not going to change their ways.  Are people ditching their banks because of OccupyMN.  Yes, some are.  But it seems the ones doing so have less than a few grand in that bank.  I'm not for or against OccupyMN.  Just curious on what the next steps are.

Young Turk
Young Turk

If you honestly think these protests have moved the needle in any direction, you are living in a bubble.

green23
green23

I agree that the issue is "what's next?". Too many people are looking to "defeat" the protesters, as if that will solve the underlying problems.

The banks are too powerful. They are a law unto themselves, without checks and balances. Our system works on rewarding risk-takers, but there is no longer any risk for the banks - just rewards.

One Party thinks that the banks need to be even more powerful, even worshipped. And then a few crumbs will drop down to those faithful few.

Another Party is now less sure of the wisdom of such an approach. It seems that the best course would be to push that particular Party towards action.

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