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Occupy Minneapolis re-claims People’s Plaza, celebrates 2-month occupation

By staff |
December 12, 2011
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Ben Painter and Melissa Hill. Both have been "trespassed" at People's Plaza
Ben Painter and Melissa Hill. Both have been "trespassed" at People's Plaza and are threatened with arrest if they are on County property. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Protesters with signs on People's Plaza
Steff Yorek hanging sign on People's Plaza
Protesters with signs on People's Plaza (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Steff Yorek hanging sign on People's Plaza (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Minneapolis, MN – About 100 supporters and participants of Occupy Minneapolis gathered at People’s Plaza here, Dec. 11. They hung signs advancing the demands of the 99%, using clothespins on ropes tied to plaza light poles, pounding staked signs into frozen planters and taping their messages onto poles and benches.

“On the 2 month anniversary of OccupyMN, we gather at the People's Plaza again, to reclaim our space and continue our fight for equality and justice,” said a statement from organizers of the action.

Sam Richards said, “The 1% can pay for a place at the table. The only way the 99% can have our voices heard is ongoing occupations and protests in public spaces. The Hennepin County attorney is trying to take away our right to assemble and be heard. The People's Plaza is our plaza - a place for us to gather, to organize and to voice our demands for a society that puts people over profits.”

He added, “The county has tried everything they can think of to take the plaza from us - seizing our tents, tarps and blankets, banning dozens of individual occupiers with trespass notices and a constant campaign of harassment and threats. But we refuse to be deterred. The county can steal our belongings but they cannot evict our demand for justice!”

Participants in Occupy Minneapolis are still maintaining a 24/7 presence on the plaza.


Anonymous wrote 4 years 9 weeks ago

Dear Homeless Occupier

I am glad to hear that you have enjoyed such employment in New York, and in London. Plain, ordinary people IN MY FAMILY have experienced bank overdrafts and there are ways to either get around them or at least make some agreeable restitutional arrangements. Meet with people and discuss what happened and enact a solution.
For your information, we do donate our clothing and have purchased toys for children who are in such unfortunate circumstances. I am glad to hear that at least you have a laptop for keeping up on this site while you are homeless.
On your income, like many students or people who need to be creative with our finances, you can indeed live somewhere. Share a house, rent a room, etc. I would wonder where the money goes for the month, being homeless, and more importantly how you went from banking and London to homeless in Minnesota.
Please don't blame your simple math errors on the Big Bad Bank. If you were overdrawn, it is your responsibility to know your account balances in your own checkbook by your own math. And like I said, any bank is usually willing to work with a first or even second oversight in withdrawing from your account. It is not Wells Fargo who felt comfortable with a $6 cushion in your account, it was YOU. Know the policies, fees, etc. You WORKED in baking! And balance your own checkbook. THE END.
I am not sure what your demise was in being a banking paralegal to homeless was, but there is something you are not saying here. Are you interested in finding a job again? I would think that you would be a very desired applicant, with your traveled employment. I am glad to hear you have served the public and do not consider yourself useless. You certainly are NOT.
I wish you well in your personal future, but I would be wary about riding on the bandwagon of OWS at the personal expense of all its members. You are funding the cause; I hope that is your SSDI check well purposed.

Anonymous wrote 4 years 9 weeks ago

"Anonymous" perhaps you should read the TONE of your complaint

You see, you are condemning PEOPLE without investigation.

I am a HOMELESS occupier.

And there were MANY others who have now been TRESPASSED on PUBLIC property. You may be snug (and smug) as a bug, but you know, some of us are truly trying to help ourselves. I got $375 in charges on a $1.88 overdraft (and the bank didn't let me know I had it until days afterward, my ATM said I had $6 in there!), my credit was ruined and on my very limited SSDI check of $677 per month, I cannot rent an apartment. Please, before wagging your mouth, have a THINK about that.

Hey! I was a Bank Paralegal in NYC and London. I saved one bank $10 million dollars a year one year. One company I worked for I sold $6 million in stock options in less than six months. I've done ALOT of community service, political and anti-drug activities in my time. I am not useless.

Why don't you make a CONCRETE suggestion on how to help the homeless? Why not buy some kids toys who are in family shelters? Why not call the call the Ramsey County Sheriff and say you support remodelling the old Ramsey County jail as a homeless shelter. Ask how many teens in Saint Paul have no shelter AT ALL. Then call Wells Fargo and ask them why don't they supply the money to rebuild that jail? Call the Ramsey County Commissioners and ask them what THEY are doing to end homelessness - as it grows and grows month by month .. and Hennepin County, too!

Why not hang out at the Plaza and listen to some of the older activists there who DO know what they are talking about and are putting themselves on the line, eh? We have plenty to say about social injustice and do not support the "business model" as you do.

Anonymous wrote 4 years 9 weeks ago

Waste of Taxpayer Money and Public Servants Time

We, the people who choose to NOT OCCUPY the People's Plaza, are the OTHER PEOPLE who don't want to camp over days and days, leaving debris and garbage, cardboard, sticks, signs and ropes that look like ugly TRASH. We have homes we pay for or rent and we live there. We like to enjoy parks and public spaces too, but we pick up our stuff when we GO HOME. We don't offend others who don't think the same way as us. We are not rowdy and unruly, causing riots, linking together when orders to vacate make us unhappy. We don't cry "Violence" when an unpeaceful but elderly woman refuses to obey orders to vacate and gets a shot of pepper spray herself. We vote, we put feet to our causes, we make differences in our neighborhoods that spreads to the outer suburbs. We are HAPPY living in America. Yes, we know things can be better. We educate ourselves, we are entrepreneurs, we work for organized business and small business and independent business. Some of us don't work and stay home to take care of our families. Are taxes too high? Of course they are, for everyone. You sitting around and incurring civic government expenses to clean up, for THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN THE CITY, and making it necessary for law enforcement to keep the peace and protect its citizens, are NOT HELPING. The taxpayers are getting YOUR BILL. Perhaps in some cases that means YOU are getting YOUR BILL. Please stop referring to happy Americans as the 1%. Many people are happy living here. Please do not ruin our city.
P.S. More than reassembling on the 2-month anniversary of Occupy Minneapolis, I think you reassembled for the day when it was over 30 degrees. Winter is harsh in Minnesota and the more you plan on 'hanging out' at the Government Center, the fewer people will be impacted. We will be warm and cozy, indoors. Except for the homeless people, who can be helped WITH YOUR HELP AND DOLLARS. Try putting your money to a good cause for those less fortunate. Maybe share a tent or tarp.

Linda wrote 4 years 9 weeks ago

Our beautiful country

Our Senate and the House are considering passing a bill what will allow Military use to stop people and arrest them without due process. To hold them for as long as they like without a court hearing.
This is the very thing we are fighting against.
Also a bill to prevent people of color from voting is being considered. What is our beautiful country coming to? Who is running our country? When did the enemy take over without knowing? Wake up Americans for the Enemy is within our walls!