Protestors converge on the state Capitol for opening day of the legislative session [IMAGES]
|The cardboard sign on the right reads, "Make the Safety Net Safe."|
- Take Back the Capitol protests end today
- Cover: When will gay marriage be legal in Minnesota?
- Marijuana legalization bill could come before DFL-controlled legislature this session
The first group to set up camp was protesting for a welfare increase. Armed with lime-green signs (including bags of extras for any motivated onlookers or latecomers) and a megaphone, the group opened with a call-and-response chant: "What do we want?" "Tax the rich." "When do we want it?" "Now."
Welfare dollars haven't increased since 1986, the activists explained, even as the cost of living has doubled. "In 1986, the maximum cash grant was $437," the voice behind the mic yelled. "In 2013, it's still $437."
The group shouted demands to double the welfare grants by eliminating "billions" in tax breaks for the wealthy. But right when they were starting in on a new chant, another group showed up.
|Protestors with the Idle No More movement march over to the Capitol from Sears.|
These protestors wanted recognition for "how the earth is being treated," they shouted as they climbed to the top of the Capitol steps.
|Crowded Capitol steps.|