Occupiers: We Plan To Stay As Long As It Takes

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Weeks after protests started on Wall Street, the movement to take a stand against corporate greed has now moved into Minnesota.

Protestors gathered all day Friday at the Hennepin County Government Center Plaza in downtown Minneapolis.

The protests come on the same day the government reported that 103,000 jobs were added in the U.S. last month, but that wasn’t enough to move the unemployment rate from 9.1 percent.

The crowd formed around 9 a.m. and has been composed of hundreds of people from all walks of life. Protesters showed up for many different reasons, but most said they want a better America.

Web Extra: Pictures From Minneapolis Protests

“Any revolution has been preceded by a moment of reformation where the people must feel like there is a desire to change,” said protester Justin Michael.

That desire for change has sparked a movement that has swept across the country and landed right in the middle of Hennepin County Government Plaza.

Friday, the group renamed it “The People’s Plaza.”

“Everywhere around the country people are scared, they don’t know what’s going on, and we all know that something is not right with our society,” Michael said.

Many said it’s time to establish a new system that values people over profits. The protester’s hand written signs told the stories of individuals and their reasons for protesting.

“We put profits before people,” said Douglas Mouton, who attended Occupy Minnesota. “It used to be a country for the people, and it’s no longer that. It’s about the dollar.”

Law enforcement was proactive, meeting with organizers and setting expectations, such as: no tents, bonfires or grills. They are hoping for a peaceful occupation.

Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said, “This is the Public Safety Plaza, and we’re concerned about that. Our job is to keep [the protesters] safe and secure, and, likewise, we expect them to be orderly.”

So far there have been no problems.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Deputies as well as Minneapolis police placed additional officers in the area to help with security.

Organizers said they plan to stay as long as it takes to change the course of America.

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