Occupy MN protesters defy Hennepin County orders; ACLU threatens lawsuit [UPDATE]

Categories: Protest News
occupy sign defense.jpg
The occupiers are refusing to move from in front of a sign.
This morning, Hennepin County maintenance removed all of Occupy MN protesters' signs from Government Plaza. Just before noon, however, a small contingent of the occupiers started putting them back up.

Now, seven occupiers have linked arms in front of signs and are preventing sheriff's deputies and security from removing them. They've been threatened with arrest.

"More signs!" they chanted, as other protesters began hanging signs from light poles.

Hennepin County administrators ordered on Monday that, as a provision of their winterization of the plaza, all Occupy MN possessions must be consolidated and no signs would be allowed to be hung.

Yesterday, the Minnesota branch of the American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to Sheriff Rich Stanek and County Administrator Richard Johnson warning that they may be setting themselves up for a lawsuit.

"Although we do not currently represent OccupyMN, we are concerned that these new restrictions do not comport with the First Amendment standards and respectfully request that you rescind them," the letter reads.

Read the whole letter here.

Last night, Occupy MN's general assembly voted to allow the ACLU to represent them in potential litigation. They also began hanging as many signs as possible from the plaza light poles and planters in preparation for this morning's clean up.

Although all signs came down without incident in the early morning hours, this afternoon protesters began putting them back up. When a county security guard attempted to take one off a planter, a protester dove in front of him, and refused to move. He was threatened with arrest.

Before long, seven occupiers linked arms around the planter, and other protesters began covering them in signs, including ones that say "Stanek 2012: Champions of the First Amendment" and "We are the 99%."

Among them is Ben Egerman, who was arrested at another demonstration a couple weeks ago for refusing to get out of the street in front of US Bank plaza.

"I promised my dad I wouldn't get arrested again until my next hearing," he said. "My hearing was yesterday."

For now, it appears that the security officers and deputies have backed off. We'll update as the situation continues to develop.

Update: At about 1 p.m., protesters were notified that they will not be arrested. The seven jubilantly busted out of what had grown to a thick layer of tape and signs screaming, "We won! We won!" 

Egerman says that the sheriff's deputies and security are still watching them from the tall staircase outside the Government Center, but that they are going to continue putting up signs all afternoon.

"I think if we have enough people, they're really scared. They're scared of having the same situation," he says. "They stood down."

Nick Espinosa, another Occupy MN organizer, says if any attempt is made to remove the signs, they will risk arrest again.

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32 comments
IHW
IHW

#OccupyRiverview

mindboggeling
mindboggeling

I'm all for the protesters, signs AND tents.  Whether the signs didn't come down because the authorities were afraid,  I don't know.  Maybe it is more about "choosing ones battles" and timing. Don't trust Stanek and group.  To the Mayor and Chief and the City Council, I would make friends of the protesters.  The more you stir up the crap the worse YOU look. After all the protesters are standing up for you and your family too!  Can't we all just work together?  Pick and choose the battles.  Weigh what is important and what is not?  Help each other?  What ever these protesters accomplish will only prove to be good for the country.  They have already effected the banks a little and that can only be good! Be more understanding and kind, stop being close minded and judgmental. We are all in this world together contrary to what the 1% think.

EricTheRed
EricTheRed

Are those flea-baggers still around? I thought they had gone home to their mothers basement.

Stephan
Stephan

Come on man!  Leave these people alone.  They have a constitutional right to protest.  These peoples first ammendment rights have been violated, and the A.C.L.U. should sue. If you don't like it, then form your own interest group and have your people ammend the constitution to fit your needs, as you guys do all the time anyway.  What happened to the original constitution that was founded by the forefathers?  Can't we all just get along?

Mn Voter
Mn Voter

Here is why we don't have jobs! 20 Million underemployed Americans!

Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) spoke out against Oregonian forestry contractors who used stimulus money to hire legal foreign workers instead of unemployed Americans. Earlier this year, Rep. DeFazio introduced the bi-partisan Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification and Illegal Immigration Control Act (H.R.483) that would require all businesses to use E-Verify. Oregon's unemployment rate is slightly above the national average, standing at 9.6%.

Rep. DeFazio responded to a Department of Labor report that found that Oregonian forestry contractors abused the H-2B visa program to use stimulus money to hire foreign workers."We've set up a system that is easily gamed," Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., said.

According to the Department of Labor report, the forestry contractors hired 254 seasonal workers holding H-2B visas costing at least $7 million of stimulus money. The H-2B visa requires that employers demonstrate that there are no available American workers before requesting the visas. But forestry contractors advertised for the jobs in small newspapers and began the hiring process months before the actual work began, causing issues for unemployed Americans collecting unemployment benefits.

"These people still could have made a profit and employed Oregonians. How greedy are they?" Rep. DeFazio said. "I thought about different angles on how we could prosecute these people. Unfortunately, we can't. Which is a shame."

Why is Klobuchar and Franken SILENT! Go Protest and shut their offices down!

MN voter
MN voter

you people are idiots! you don't even know what you're fighting for. half of you say get rid of corporations as you are listening to your ipods! just because you are lazy hippie bums doesnt mean you have to cause all this trouble to people who do work and dont mooch off the government. you're a disgrace.

Mn Voter
Mn Voter

I'd have more belief in these protestors if they actually had a clue: Former Democrat Govenor and Senator from New Jersey, Jon Corzine, former chairman of Goldman Sachs, was one of Obama's main conduits to Wall Street, a donor base that has been a challenge for the president to hold in line. Corzine has been a major bundler, already reaching the $500,000-plus level as reported by the Obama campaign. He has also been active in arranging meetings between disgruntled donors and the president, including a secret meeting earlier this summer with leaders from a number of Wall Street firms. It is reported that Corzine had language in his contract to let him join the Obama administration if Obama is re-elected.

Where is the OWS outrage over at the White House?

green23
green23

254 does not equal 20 million.

Mn Voter wrote:"Go Protest and shut their offices down!"

Yeah, you've previously made remarks to the effect that people who do that sort of thing (e.g. OWS) should be shot.

BTW, Klobuchar and Franken aren't "silent". They just aren't saying what you want to hear. There's a difference. Please go into detail about the highly effective actions that our Republican MN Representatives are taking to correct this situation. Is Cravaack "silent"? Is Bachmann "silent"?If so, why do you give them a free pass?

Why does a House Democrat have to take the lead on this, while all of those "job-oriented" Republicans sit on their hands?

I mean, H.R.483 is House measure, after all. What do you expect Senators to do about House legislation?  And this legislation is only "introduced", not passed. This means that, if you want to see this passed, you should be screaming at members of the House, not the Senate.

Michele Bachmann
Michele Bachmann

I always suspected you and kirk the conservative jerk were one in the same.   This is almost identical to his nonsensical ramblings. 

Mn Voter
Mn Voter

Someone else is using my tag. YOU are a phony! Don't put misleading false words under my label.

Jen
Jen

It isn't idiotic to protest when things are not working for the vast majority of the populace. When I was down there checking it out, the man with whom I spoke the longest works seven days a week, at two jobs, and was at the protest whenever he wasn't at work. It is amazing people assume the protesters are "moochers." How did you arrive at that conclusion, I wonder?

Shakalaka
Shakalaka

lol the occupy movement is neither lib or con, it's neither logic or reason

Lukejudemandela
Lukejudemandela

You obviously do not understand who the Occupy MN are at this point.  That you don't know is just plain lazy.  I've been there for the past 4 weekends and have yet to run into an enthusiastic Obama supporter.  What Occupy is doing for you, your children and grandchildren is the best we have going to re-establish the American dream. 

Mn Voter
Mn Voter

I demand that Obama return all the stolen money to the 99% MF clients that Democrat Jon Corzine stole from! Return the money Obama! Dayton tell obama to return the stolen money. Klobuchar tell obama to return the stolen money. Frankin tell obama to return the stolen money to the people!

Mn Voter
Mn Voter

Fake MB you just need to learn to read. Google "Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) Oregonian forestry contractors" and learn the hard truth that the federal government is allowing millions of "Legal" workers in each year. That is right - this year, last year and the year before & 8 years under Bush & 8 years under clinton.

Klobuchar, Bachmann and Franken are silent - and both have known about this for the past year. Why do they sit on their hands? Why do they not hear the unemployed cries for justice?

green23
green23

For months now, your 'contribution' to any discussion, regardless of the topic, has been incoherent rants like this:

"Who cares about this. We care about the PRICE OF GASOLINE. What the F#ck is Frankenstein, Obama and Klobuchar doing about that? $4 bucks a gallon and heading higher.39 straight days of gasoline increases and what is Franken & Klobuchar doing, fiddling while Rome burns."http ://tinyurl. com/6wr59ls  - an article about iPhone tracking with you posting as "Six DistrVoter"

Any time that anyone criticises Bachmann, you accuse them of being "sexist" based on Bachmann's gender alone.Yet you constantly slander Klobuchar, blaming her for everything wrong with the world.

I wonder if a 'feminist' like you would consider the following statement to be sexist:

"Unfortunately your talking points are stupid just like klobuchar the lying bitch! Klobuchar has the fattest a$$ (ops - hillary does)! Since you don't know either of them, you are either a SEXIST or just stupid. I think you are a stupid SEXIST just like klobuchar the lard a$$ bitch!"http ://tinyurl. com/83rt93h - posted as "Mn Voter"

Wow, you are such a moderate, level-headed, unbiased commenter, aren't you? Your insights are so valuable! I especially like that, with your "advanced degrees", you can't seem to spell or punctuate.

You are a shill. I knew it from the first post that I ever saw of yours. Posting as "MN3KidsUnemployed", you basically portrayed yourself as a swing voter who voted for Klobuchar, but now are too angry about high gas prices to vote Democrat again.

Well, your "3 kids" are all adults, and one has graduated from college. As for being "unemployed":"Actually I'm thinking of moving my business to Wisconsin where there are very nice tax incentives."http ://tinyurl. com/6ouq92v - posted as "Mn Voter"

"I work in the medical field and touch many Aid’s patients."http ://tinyurl. com/7pyqvv7 - posted as "Mn Voter"

You're a liar and fraud. And I'm referring to "Mn Voter", not MN Voter.

green23
green23

LOL! You are the guy who has posted under at least 16 other identities, and you're calling someone else a phony. Clicking on your icon shows that you are currently posting under the name "Mark Dayton". Last week, you were posting as "Markie Dayton". Last month, you were posting as "MN Gov Dayton".

BTW, how many of your three "kids" are still under 18, MN Dad? Or is it "MN3Kids Unemployed"? Or perhaps you recognise the names "HiGas Prices Obamasucks", "Govnrs Barkeepr", "MN Vet", "Legal Workers Only", "KeepUr Legs2gether", "MN Taxpayer", and "Minn Native"?

And "Smels Funy" is another of your phony aliases. You know, the guy who says that Obama's long-form birth certificate is a forgery. You've never met a conspiracy theory that you weren't willing to parrot, even if it contradicts your other conspiracy theories. I mean, how could Osama bin Laden's death have been faked if you blame Obama for killing an unarmed man in his bed? And how can you credit the Navy SEALs for killing bin Laden when he wasn't really killed at all?

You know, you don't really sound like someone who has a "doctorate", either. Were you lying about that? You also said that you were moving out of Minnesota (though you are a "native Minnesotan") because of high taxes. Yet you are still here. It also seems very odd that such a rabid Republican supporter (one of the few who still bothers to defend Bachmann) would have voted for Mark Dayton. But you said that you did, didn't you? Was that a lie?

A serial liar complains about "misleading quotes". What hypocrisy!

Yeah, you're a real "moderate", aren't you? That's what you claimed to be yesterday. Yet you are willing (and eager) to kill your fellow citizens in a vigilante war against "Sharia law'". Tell us again how the Dayton family is bankrolling the Minneapolis OWS protests, "moderate". Tell us again about how Amy Klobuchar sets the gas prices for the nation, and how she's a "racist", moderate one. I'm dying to hear you repeat your "moderate" theories about gays preventing people from marrying, too.

And don't forget your "moderate" calls for Obama's impeachment over high gas prices. I especially loved your previous "moderate" statements about how anyone who criticised Bachmann was "sexist", considering how vehemently a "moderate" like you has criticised Klobuchar. Yes, you're a real feminist, aren't you, ""KeepUrLegs2gether"?

Yes, you're a real moderate, independent voter. It's just a coincidence how you constantly parrot every "out there" right-wing conspiracy theory and unquestioningly support every Republican. You lie about yourself every chance that you get, and depend on your changing identities to keep people from "connecting the dots". It's all there for everyone to see when they click on your icon, though. But who would ever do that?

And you don't support the Tea Party, either - or so you said yesterday. Yet you have a long history of defending the Tea Party, and calling anyone else who criticises them "stupid libs". How "moderate" of you.

Alien
Alien

Jen and MNvoter. Here is a good example of why government and people can't seem to get anything accomplished. First thing everybody does is hurl insults. Instead why not ask questions. What is not working for the "vast majority" of the populace? What is this protest specifically about? What are they proposing to fix what they don't like? While the story of the man with two jobs sounds great, is it really true? With all the BS in world today I feel probably 10% of all news and stories are really the truth... Maybe we should all start thinking more independently and stop just following the masses. 

mindboggeling
mindboggeling

Mn. Voter, I am a lot older than you because I remember what happened to the education system when the states WERE in control!  The South had the worst Ed. systems in the country.  Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi were so bad most of the poor and all of the minorities had barely any education at all.  The state politicians could always find something better to do with their money and it wasn't put into their roads or infrastructure.  The lack of education had almost the entire south in deep poverty and most of the politicians were getting very wealthy.  Left to their own regulation and  laws states fail miserably.  History was not uniform and the standards were none existent.  There are somethings , we as a nation, cannot leave up to the states and Education is one of them.  You can have your opinions, but you would do well to base your opinions on what can be learned from the History of our Country.  We cannot afford to roll this country back to the 40's and 50's no matter how  much the republicans want to relive their glory days!

mindboggeling
mindboggeling

You also want 50% of gov, employees fired.  How is that helping unemployment?  Do you realize how many people that would be who would be filing for unemployment?  I don't think you have thought your arguments through.

green23
green23

Mn Voter wrote:" I support Ron Paul."

Hey, you already "promised" that Bachmann was going to be President, remember?

Because when Obama makes a projection, it's a "promise". And you projected that Bachmann would be President. So that's a "promise" on your part, right? You even fantasised about how President Bachmann would take revenge on "liberals" when she takes office.

You don't even take your rantings seriously. Please explain why anyone else should take you seriously.

I presume that when you "taught at MIT" you had to defend positions you had taken. Or was that another lie?

Good God, you can't even keep track of your own lies! I guess it's hard, when you tell so many and use so many fake names.

Mn Voter wrote:"I went to war to protect their (our) freedom of speech," And yet, you want OWS protesters to be arrested, beaten, and shot. Oh, wait, that was another of your fake identities who said that.

You know, all of these fake identities are under your profile. That means that they all use your disqus password. That means that they are all you.

It's sad that, in service to our country in the armed forces, no concept of honour was inculcated in you. I have relatives who served in same conflict as you, and they would feel a deep, abiding shame if they told a fraction of the lies that you have in the past year.

Anonymous
Anonymous

The vast majority, about 3/4, of the occupiers are independents. Trust me, we're not thrilled with Obama and the Dems either.But this is deeper than that, the entire system is broken, and it's time America did something about it.Join us, the future is ours.

green23
green23

Wow! This was allowed under Bush? The guy you voted for? I bet that made you real mad. Weird how he didn't do anything about it.

Hey, remember when Bush was President and anyone who criticised him was a traitor?

Mn Voter wrote:" Why do they not hear the unemployed cries for justice?"

Was Franken in office under Bush? Why didn't Norm Coleman hear those "cries for justice"? Weird how you voted for Norm, though. Especially since you are "unemployed". Is that even true? Or was it another of your lies? Because, with your "doctorate", you should be able to find work in a State with under 7% unemployment.

You've said before that you donated to Bachmann. You've posted before as "Mn6th Voter4 Senate 2012". It seems safe to assume that, since you live in Bachmann's district, you voted for her. Why does Bachmann ignore these "cries for justice"?

Remember, "Mn6th Voter4 Senate 2012" said " I have obtained my Ph.d and taught at M.I.T.".

http ://blogs.citypages. com/blotter/2011/05 /is_michele_bachmann_smarter_than_a_high_school_sophomore.php#comment-203246632  (remove the spaces and click on "Mn6th Voter4 Senate 2012"'s profile.)

You will find that clicking on "Mn6th Voter4 Senate 2012"'s icon shows you Mn Voter's current comments. Weird. It's as if they are the same person.

Look for this one: "Don't worry, I'm moving to a state where the taxes are lower. Fuck MINNESOTA and Mark Dayton to boot. AMY KLOBUCHAR is a racist. I want to live in a state where it is warmer and the taxes are lower".

That was five months ago.

It's so weird how this guy never holds Republicans responsible for anything, yet he votes for them - and lies about it..

This guy also claims to be a "moderate" who voted for McCain. He also says that he has stockpiled weapons and ammo for the coming war against Sharia law. Yes, a real moderate, isn't he?

Michele Bachmann
Michele Bachmann

I would say that jobs in Oregon are rarely the priority of Senators from Minnesota.    I would suggest Senators Franken and Klobuchar have more important things to worry about like why the Conservatives keep blocking President Obama's wildly popular job creation bills.   Senator Klobuchar was the sponsor of a jobs bill that taxed millionaires to pay for infrastructure.   The Conservatives blocked it because far be it for the rich to pay their fair share when the whole country is suffering.   I honestly think you are either evil or very stupid to pretend Occupy Wall Street should have a problem with what Democrats are trying to do with jobs.   The Democrats have tried to do lots to help the unemployed and the Republicans have fought them at every turn.   Filibustering Klobuchar's bill did way more to hurt the unemployed than your nonsense issue so please go fuck yourself you stupid liar.  

Michele Bachmann
Michele Bachmann

Hey stupid alien, please tell me what insult Jen hurled?    I'm so sick of morons like you that try to tell me both sides are at fault.   One asshole hurled out a bunch of nonsense and insults and then Jen corrected his lies.     Jen is the only one in that debate that has actually seen Occupy Minnesota.   She doesn't need to ask questions, she already asked questions and answered them stupid.   Jen is already thinking independently and not with the masses.  That's why she got off her ass and went down to Occupy Minnesota.   What have you done to research what Occupy Minnesota is all about besides write stupid comments showing you didn't really read the article or the comments?

Mn Voter
Mn Voter

The MN Voter is not Mn Voter. Evidently a fraud is trying to use my tag and is not I.

The question is: Why are the protestors not at the governors mansion, not at Senator Klobuchar and Franken's offices demanding Obama return all the stolen money? I went to war to protect their (our) freedom of speech, but hanging signs is too low of a goal! Take it to the elected officials in power, today! shut the governors and senators offices down until they take action.

Alien: your wrong on the media - only 2% is true and 98% is BS.

Mn Voter
Mn Voter

Eliminate the IRS and go to a flat tax. Over 90% of "K" street lobby will be let go. Eliminate the Dept of Energy and allow all domestic energy development. 100,000 jobs will appear overnight.Eliminate the Dept of Education and let the states handle their own.Eliminate Unemployment and tell people this is America. Since you liberals think it is so easy for business people to generate vast amounts of wealth, let the unemployed go forth and create that wealth.

Mn Voter
Mn Voter

Although I'm for Ron Paul at the time Bachmann had great momenteum. She still might be VP or senator? Wow that will drive you liberals crazy.

You need to learn to read close. Notice the fake had MN voter vs Mn Voter: I suspect that was really the fake MB who write here as well. He has a very low IQ.  I went to war to protect our freedom of speech and do not deny anyone's rights. I only suggested they take their cause to the sitting govenor and senators offices to be more effective. It was the fake MB who used my moniker (spelled wrong) with the hate speech.

The classes in MIT did require logical thinking. More that I've seen on this site.

Your insults to my honor are meaningless as you green23 have shown yourself to have no arguments. Simple personal attacks like the majority of the liberals on this site. Your relatives who have served must feel really sorry for you.

Mn Voter
Mn Voter

I did that with Ross Perot. It doesn't work. I support Ron Paul. Back to the gold standard, out of the UN, fire 50% of all Federal workers to start with. Bring ALL of our troops home from every foreign country. Shut the borders for 4 years to all immigration and get on eVerify. Jail for corupt CEO's & politicians. Flat tax and eliminate the IRS will destroy "K" street. 90% of the lobbyists will be out of work.

Alien
Alien

Find it somewhat interesting that the article is claiming victory about signs. SIGNS!. Maybe be better to come up with real solutions or ideas to fix things.  It's easy to point out what's wrong and hard to dig in and solve something...

HurdyGurdy
HurdyGurdy

While I can't attest to your ratio, I agree the overwhelming sentiment is that the Occupations (and the injustice they protest) go way beyond two-party politics. Both groups have sold us out repeatedly, and Obama co-opted the energy of youth, minority, and progressive voters during his original campaign, just to continue the same inneffectual leadership and pouty acquiescence that keeps the merri-go-round turning. Pundits, politicians, and lazy partisan voters want to continue the arbitrary ping-pong power "struggle" between Dem and Reps because they are unwilling or unable to admit that politics are far more complex than red versus blue. Neither represents our interests, but they appeal enough to our FEAR and emotions to keep us from voting for someone we truly believe in. 'If you don't vote for me, the other guy will win and that'll be worse." VOTE THIRD PARTY, and vote in every election. Presidential compaigns are meaningless popularity contests - the president has no power without both Houses, and that's where we're getting screwed. But, more importantly, every third party/independent vote is a message to Washington, even if your candidate doesn't come close to winning. Politicians count votes very seriously, and a couple of percentage points for several fringe candidates would send a powerful message that voters are waking up to the two-party sham. All my wishes and hopes to the occupiers, the people who will be true agents of change.

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