OccupyMN Protesters Defy Tent Ban

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Hundreds of protesters demonstrating with Occupy Minnesota set up tents Friday afternoon in defiance of Hennepin County’s ban on tents in the Hennepin County Government Center plaza, where protesters have demonstrated since Oct. 7.

The protesters marched into the southern part of the government plaza at around 4:30 p.m., carrying clear, plastic tents and chanting, “We are the 99 percent.” They set up the tents on grass lawns and used clear material so that what went on inside the tents would be visible to authorities, who are watching over the protest and recording it with video cameras.

Nick Espinosa, one of the Occupy Minnesota organizers, said that the clear tents show the protesters’ desire for transparency.

“The concern we’ve been hearing is visibility, that [police] don’t know what’s going on inside of those tents,” Espinosa said. “So we’ve found a creative solution that addresses their concerns … but also our concerns for the safety and health of everyone who’s sleeping out here.”

Espinosa said he spoke with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and told authorities that the protest is in no way violent and that they are willing to protest outside the government center until change comes.

None of the tent-making protesters have been arrested and the tents have remained untouched by authorities. However, the OccupyMN Facebook page said that the police were going to take down the tents soon.

In a press release Friday, authorities said that if they saw protesters putting up a tent, they would ask them to stop. If protesters refused, authorities said police would take down the tent, inventory the tent with county staff and return it to protesters at a later date.

Around the tents, protesters made a human chain. And by 7:15 p.m., it consisted of more than 100 protesters, all of which were willing to be arrested.

WCCO-TV was told police arrested a legal observer Saturday evening, but it did not appear to be in relation to the tent protest. The woman had been asked by police not to return to the protest Friday, and when she did Saturday, they arrested her.

occupy protesters and tents OccupyMN Protesters Defy Tent Ban

(credit: CBS)

  • Dave

    I bet if you drug tested all these people 95% would test positive. And I bet if you ask them what is there reason for being there nine out of ten would have no real answer about what it is really about. Maybe all that get arrested should have to do some community service and clean up the city parks.

    • Eric Bell

      How much you want to bet?

    • 99%

      I take that bet too

    • Ferris Lind

      I hear .. 95% burn out’s down there . I go down and protest to . But I have a job and a life

    • insignificant

      dave…dave’s not here…lol

      • SG


    • hump

      Ya gotta love these idiots.

    • Down with the Flea Party!

      This group is the Flea Party! Ohterwise known as Flea Baggers. First we need to fumigate then get the fire hoses and wash down the streets of this almost-human refuse. Then tomorrow, we just go back to work. You know, like we always do.

  • djp

    Idiots. If you are going to protest…at least know what you are protesting for…and follow the rules. You are lucky to live in a land where you are allowed to do this…so don’t push your luck.
    Yes…I DID grow up during the REAL protesting days…LOL

  • Yuri Fedorov

    What a bunch of clueless sheep these protesters are..Anything to appear radical..How boring.

    • Shepard

      isn’t the far right sheep since the lord is your Shepard? and were do the Shepard lead their?

    • work for a living

      Right on Yuri, I love that WCCO put a picture of a high school student in a Abercrombie hoodie on the front of this story. Kid shows up to stick it to the man in an Abercrombie Hoodie??? …Please, I was under military enforced house arrest in Nepal for 23 days when the pop. uprising deposed the king. You bring torches to a protest, torches, not hoodies!

  • incitechange

    All of your comments are certainly helping to fix America. Easy to point the finger I guess.

  • Jake

    It’s water cannon time!!!

    • insignificant

      water cannons are obsolete,eh?…now they get out the ear-drum breakers…

      • Jake

        Actually, in this weather, water cannons would be VERY EFFECTIVE. Once the temp stays below 70 degrees, a watered down person gets VERY COLD in a hurry.

    • back at you

      You know where you can stick that water cannon, Jaker.

      What we got to say…power to the people, no delay…make everybody see in order to fight the powers that be!

      • Jake

        YES!! Up your silly, stinkin, arse!!

        • back at you

          Before you do that, you’re going to have to take your head out of yours first.

          • Jake

            My head is clear, my intentions are TRUE, I am a defender of the USA to the bone, but I have no time for communists or said sympathizers, which I view to be the likes of you and your friends. I seriously doubt that your resume looks better than mine…. Nor do I think that you have any better ideas as to how to solve our serious problems than I do.

            • back at you

              Defender of our country? Give me a break. I was working 2 to 3 minimum wage jobs to get through college during the Carter years while you were sucking off the government teat. Remind me again what war we were fighting at that time? As I recall, many of the students in my high school that went into the military at that time either had skated through high school and didn’t have many options other than working at McDonald’s or they wanted to get away from their families. My brother was in the military starting in the Carter years and what I remember him talking about was the world-class skiing over in Europe. He then came state-side to experience more world class skiing when he was stationed in Colorado Springs. Not exactly the same experiences as our WWII, Korean, or Vietnam veterans. You and I are no better than the people who are protesting. The difference between us is that I’m not fooling myself into thinking that I am.

  • Ed

    only whites must be racist. thats what they said about the tea party but seem to have forgotten that here.

    • Eric Bell

      there are more than whites there. Why do you expect a higher % of non-whites there than in MN in general? Who’s the racist?

      • tom

        it is all white and i think i saw some anti obama posters. One protester spit on a black policeman.

        • Jake

          Ya, sure. These protests are 90% hype, 10% substance, at BEST. Not saying that they don’t have a legitimate gripe or two, but they are expressing it in the most childish, immature way immaginable…

  • GGyrl

    Good for them!! We are all tired of a lack of viable jobs in this country, scrambling to put fuel in our cars to work at minumum wage jobs, then having to decide between food or prescriptions or utilities. This new rule against tents was only created by the city and county to assist them in making their monthly ticket quota – how convenient of those politicians to keep feeding off the voters. When I lost my job, I turned to farming full-time to put wholesome food on my table as well as that of my neighbor’s. Corporate farms and ranches should be protested as loudly as Wall Street. This whole country is clueless as to how many of the major corporations run this country. Take a look at the global food supply chain alone – Cargill, ADM, ConAgra, Monsanto. If I didn’t have grain to harvest, I would be right down there with them!! The real “sheep” keep closing their eyes and opening their wallets to keep supporting all of them like mindless zombies. That includes the three of you above….

    • Go plant you beans

      Your a nut case, Who buys your grain. I bet a big corporation. Those corporation hire people and they pay wages wihich most of us live off of weekly.

      • Exp

        So, just because they’re “big” means they have the right to buy off politicians and have a bigger say in what goes on in the country than the rest of us? Rather defeats the whole purpose of Democracy, doesn’t it?

        • Jake

          So, what happened to Soros, your socialist ‘god’?? BTW, all you have to do is look at the photo on this page. Tell me, if you ran a company that required a group of highly skilled, well disciplined, dedicated, reasonable, PROFESSIONAL, employees, would you even CONSIDER hiring ANY of this group of modern-day hippies??

    • Jake

      So are you one of those, buried in student loan debt, credit card debt, who pursued a LIBERAL ARTS degree, then found that you couldn’t find a job that paid ANY BETTER than a HIGH-SCHOOL DROPOUT, because you pursued a ‘dream job’ that would pay you 6 figures, but it will never materialize?? So now it’s the GOVERNMENT’S fault?? Well if so, I think that you should be suing the U of M, the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin Co., because BIG GOVERNMENT didn’t give you that DREAM JOB FOR LIFE. I think that you are protesting the WRONG SEGMENT of society. If you actually had a good set of skills that would make ANY entity profitable or more efficient, you would be gainfully employed. I think that you are a sucker who trusted gov’t too much and got BURNED.

    • Jake

      Get a LIFE. I’ll bet you couldn’t do an oil change, change a flat tire, clean up a yard or a house, or even put on a decent meal for a few. You probably need help getting out of bed in the morning. But you sure know how to COMPLAIN. Bet you have the email addressess of all kinds of politicians saved on your PC.

  • @GG

    When you lost your job you decided to farm for a living, wow how convenient you owned a large farm already, I wonder how my boss might take me taking weeks off to lay in the grass, get jobs they’re out there.

    • Jake

      I know of 3 people who have found jobs, REAL JOBS. No, none of them are paying $80K a year, but they are way better than minimum wage, and it’s BETTER than being in UNEMPLOYMENT, sucking down our nation, DAY BY DAY. 2 of them are BROTHERS. Get off the DOPE, show up every day, do a good job, and you can GET and KEEP one. It’s called COMMON SENSE.

      • @ Jake

        I’m just wondering what you’ve done or what you’re doing to protect yourself in the event of your own unemployment. Hypothetically, are you prepared to not accept unemployment by subsidizing your living with savings. Do you have 8-10 months (could take that long to find a job consistent to what you now have)of living expenses saved so that you don’t have to accept any type of assistance?

        • Jake

          @ idiot who gave me a hypothical… I have a pension available, but I WILL accept unemployment, BECAUSE, (AND READ THIS VERY CAREFULLY), I have been working since the age of **12**, have NEVER received a DIME of unemployment, section 8, FOOD STAMPS, EDUCATION GRANTS (never even got the GI BILL after serving honorably on active duty in an AIRBORNE UNIT, thanks to the idiot carter, for *4* years I might add, VOLUNTARILY), utility bill assistance, refugee cash assistance, workmen’s comp, have been beaten down for decades under ‘affirmative action’ laws with regards to opportunites and promotion, and I have PAID AND PAID AND PAID AND PAID, AND I HAVE RECEIVED NOTHING, AS OF NOW. That is NOT the case of MOST of the ‘protesters’, IMO. When MOST of THEM can give the SAME KIND OF STORY, then I will start to take THEM seriously.

          • @ Jake

            And I’m sure that there’s MANY out there on unemployment that feel exactly like you, that they have earned it. I hope you enjoy your unemployment (soon) you GIANT BLOWHARD IDIOT.

            • @ Jake

              You go off on people all the time. This post or that so I’m taking the protester group out of the equation. You have always posted your disdain for the unemployed and their collection of benefits. Yet, here you are ready to collect as your plan B. Let me tell you something, I used to think like you do until this situation we are living proved to be out of the average person’s control. So, what did I do? Stocked up on a years worth of cash, loaded up funds, paid everything off. I made myself self sufficient so that I COULD spout off without being a hypocrite. You on the other hand just stated that you will accept unemployment at half pay. ARE YOU PREPARED TO MAKE UP THAT OTHER HALF. Because if your not Jakey, you will be seeing other forms of public assistance and feeling just like the A#S you really are.

              • Jake

                WRONG, so wrong. See, I have a plan ‘B’, and even though I am over 50, I am in good health, NOT overweight, have a lot of skills, a great work history, a good credit rating, and have shown the ability to learn new skills quickly. I have good references, an employer can take a hair sample from me from anywhere on my body and KNOW that I don’t do DOPE, and I am self sufficient. I am a survivor. I don’t blame OTHERS, because I didn’t PLAN on how to deal with hard times. I saw this depression coming a LONG TIME AGO. Of course, I graduated from high school BEFORE 1980, with HONORS, so I didn’t get BRAINWASHED like the current crop of people in dire straits today.

              • @ Jake

                Well there, now that sounds a bit more sane. Now, try not to assume that others, at least some, are not like you. Some of the unemployed are well intentioned and have hit a rough patch. Give the collective a break and concentrate on the actual offenders. And, dude, seriously start saving like there’s no tomorrow because you are over 50.

              • Jake

                Gee, I have always considered myself to be ‘middle class’, and if that’s not ‘average’, then I guess I don’t know what is. I don’t know of a single friend or relative that isn’t on unemployment right now, unless they have been on welfare for decades or are just plain lazy, or BOTH. You could hand them an $80K a year job tomorrow, and they probably wouldn’t be able to hold it for more than 6 months, no matter how much training or mentoring you gave them….their mindset is not of the right attitude. I’m not saying that I have the best solution, but you can’t help those who don’t want to or know how to help themselves. It is NOT that I am a person without compassion, as many have tried to label me. It is about putting our available, and LIMITED resources into doing and getting the best results overall. THAT is what I see as is the biggest failure of our current (and perhaps past government’s). A complete lack of understanding of even basic economics, fraud at every level, no accountability, and the throwing away of past, workable, affordable solutions, at least to near term problems, like energy. So tell me, as anybody from these protests even tried to put together a statement like that?

                • Citizen

                  @Jake. Middle class is more than just an economic situation, although that is part of the equation. Historically, the middle class was considered to be small independent businessmen and landowners, professionals (such as lawyers and doctors) with defined skills. By that very historic definition, most people today fail the middle class test since most of us are “wage slaves.” After reading your posts, I would think that also applies to you. So, continuing on the historical definition vein, that makes most of what we think of as “middle class people” in actuality serfs–highly paid, well-fed and medicated, and comfortably housed serfs. But, still serfs. You need to get off your high horse. The self-proclaimed lawyer who was posting at you earlier, is middle class. I am a retired middle class professional. They very definition of a professional is one who has to take a skills test to get licensed to practice his trade or profession. If the above definitions do not fit what you are and do, you are a serf.

            • Jake

              You couldn’t fight your way out of a wet paper bag, unless you have several HUNDRED of your sypathetic losers surrounding you. Sounds like you had a lot of ‘hugs and kisses’ when you were growing up, but not enough spankings from a strong and intelligent father. You have my sympathies…..

              • @ Jake

                I’m a lawyer not an Occupy Wall Streeter. I just don’t like you, that’s all. Oh and I came from a dirt poor family. I paid my own way through college, all of it. Keep it coming Jake. Maybe stop posting and work on a household budget.

                • Jake

                  My parents never even went to HIGH SCHOOL. I paid for my ‘secondary education’, even though I gave 4 of the best years of my LIFE defending people like YOU. Thanks for the LACK OF GRATITUDE. My household budget is JUST FINE, thank you veddy much. aT least I’m GLAAD that I didn’t become a lawyer like YOU. At least my JOB involves serviing a majority of the people in my community, at a very essential level, and I do my best to do a great job, and I feel very rewarded by having that opportunity. However, getting to where I’m at wasn’t easy. I should have had it TWICE AS SOON, because I was CAPABLE and PROVEN, but where were you?? Who knows.

                • @ Jake

                  Come on Jake. I’m not an ambulance chaser. That’s not my kind of law. I consider myself as a protective agent of society too. I’m not anti-American and yes, I can fight my way out of a paper bag. It’s my job. Thank you for your service. I mean that. Just stop putting the hate on Americans when it’s obvious to me you love America.

            • Jake

              So tell me, Dear WISE ONE, how many of these protesters have served their county honorably in the military, NEVER received a dime of unuemployment, sectioin 8, FOOD STAMPS, education grants, student loans that they can’t (or WON’T repay), utility bill assistance, etc. Guess, what… it’s all SECRET, because of ‘privacy laws’. BS. A person who wants ‘privacy’ should strive to pay THEIR BILLS from their OWN LABOR. When you take PUBLIC DOLLARS, i.e. WELFARE, you should be giving up at least SOME of our private data. The reason is to MOTIVATE THEM to get OFF OF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, THEN they can be taxPAYING members of society,and have some ‘skin in the game’ in terms of supporting and reaping the benefits of living in a robust society. NOW, everybody is anonymous, especially the ILLEGAL ALIENS, due to ‘privacy laws’. I guarantee you, as a UNITED STATES CITIZEN, my country knows a hell of a lot more about ME than the do about ANY ILLEGAL ALIEN. Why is that ‘fair’.

              • A Voter

                Jake you sound like one of those bitter losers that got drug off by the ear, kicking and screaming during the days of the draft, grow up!
                You’re a disgrace to those who enlisted honorably.

  • ck

    no PEOPLE OF COLOUR …. looks like a small segment of the population.

    • Eric Bell

      kind of reflective of MN in general? right. there’s many people of color. think what you want though.

  • MrFedUp

    Isn’t it funny that in a survey of small and mid-sized business owners, the #1 challenge they face is finding qualified talent. Yet we have 10% unemployment. Why the disconnect? Because people like these protesters feel entitled to a $100,000 salary even though most have very little experience actually accomplishing anything. Instead of protesting, if they would re-frame their job searches and accept a job that offers a $30,000 base + commission/bonus based on performance, they would have jobs tomorrow morning. The problem is, they would actually have to work for a living. If you look at the people protesting, they are all of the generation who grew up getting trophies for participating in games where they didn’t keep score. Go out and get trained to be a plumber, air conditioning repair person, refrigeration repair person … all very well paying jobs that have a huge need for new talent, and none of the jobs can get outsourced. Instead of pitching a tent, go do something productive with your life!

    • Jake

      An EXCELLENT POST. Maybe the lawyer, who is SO SMART, who is undoubtedby SO MUCH SMARTER THAN I AM, who has been BASHING ME, can answer this question, since we all know by now that LAWYERS are SO MUCH SMARTER THAN ANY OTHER PEOPLE ON THE PLANET. The fact his, is that lawyers feed on the chaos that happens on a daily basis, they know that most of their work is BS, but they do a hell of a job convincing us that we just can’t live without them. That is a job that I could never HONESTLY DO.

      • Citizen

        @Jake & MrFedUp. Please go and talk to a plumber or HVAC tech, and find out how well they are doing since the Depression/Recession. Many are out of work because of the housing crash and burn. No new houses, not much work. Repair work, but even that is drying up because people are putting off repairs because of financial constraints. Do you two ever talk to a real person before you spout off? I would also suggest you get away from your computers and talk to the protesters.

  • Fred Jones

    This is borrowed from a friend’s Facebook page but I thought it was very appropriate for these idiots in tents:

    If the 99% really want to impact the 1%, they should hit them in the pocketbook and stop buying their stuff. That would truly get the 1%’s attention.

    Well, I suppose that would be difficult because then the 99% wouldn’t have any clothes to wear, cars to drive, technology to use, fuel to heat, places to live, or food to eat.

    This is NOT a political statement. Rather, I point this out because the world is not black and white. It’s not left vs. right. It’s not rich vs. poor. It’s not 99% vs. 1%. Everyone is dependent upon everyone else for just about everything.

    Until all sides are willing to look at all sides and see sides from the others’ point of view, there will be no real solutions that benefit all. Everyone needs to remember that they are personally responsible and accountable for improving the world. Not the 1%. Not the 99%. But 100%.


    You protest the bad corps the banks yet you use facebook on your $600.00 phone and then run to the closest ATM pull out $40 and your willing to pay a $3 charge, hit the local starbucks for a $5 coffee and a $3 cookie and then run over to protest the bad bank evil phone corps. Makes perfect sence to me!

  • fedup

    I am done with wcco you can keep your rightwing viewer because that is all you will have because of your censorship when posting

    • CU

      Ok good bye

    • bobby

      haha…rightwing media? HILARIOUS! You sir, are an idiot.

  • oNiSaC

    Thomas Jefferson,
    Letter to the Secretary of the
    Treasuary Albert Gallatin (1802)

    ” I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous
    to our liberties than standing armies. If the American
    people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their
    currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and
    corporations, that will grow up around (the bank) will
    deprive the people of all property until their children wake-
    up homeless on the continent their fathers conquerd.
    The issuing power should be taken from the banks, and
    restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs”.

    Thomas Jefferson 1802,

  • Kevin

    Just shoot them….game over…

    • Jake

      No, IMO, WATER CANNON is the BEST WEAPON. Non-lethal, but in these temps, especially at night, might provoke the ‘protesters’ into doing something REALLY STUPID, either that or they will just go home. They really can’t sue anybody, so the city/county is off the hook. After all, it’s not like they are trying to shove their gloved hands down another felon’s butt-crack, who is currently in PRISON, who can turn around and sue the city for a million bucks….

  • bobby

    Why are these people not being arrested? The city says NO TENTS…the protestors put up tents with no consequences. Why would the protestors follow ANY of the rules or listen to any of the authorities if there are no consequences. Make an example of those that don’t follow the rules.

    A couple of days ago, they were blocking traffic downtown…sitting in an intersection, and again….No arrests.

    What ever happened to personal accountability??

    • Lori Scott

      I Agree.

  • Jeff

    Ahhh…Nick Espinosa (one of the people quoted in this article) was one of the organizers of Occupy MN. Big surprise. He is the same guy that dumped pennies on Emmer and likes to glitter people. Must be nice to be able to be a career protester. That’s all these people do. The real 99% are either working, spending time with their families, or doing something actually productive.

    • Jake

      The Mpls FD should give Nick Espinosa an enema with a fire hose. That would be some OT well spent. He might even like it.

      • Jeff

        He’s not even worth the time. That’s what Espinosa wants – publicity.

  • go home

    Drug test these goofs. They are ‘nothing to do but follow the leader’ kids. Last month it was an IPod or hula hoop. Go home to mommy kids. You can’t do real jail, I promise.

  • Julie

    Community organizers having fun!

  • Not me

    You have 2 groups of people here. The first group is the spoiled college brat that thinks they can change the world. The second is the out cast freak from high school that never fit in anywhere and is still angry at the world. And BTW, they are not the 99%, they are more like the .0005%. I think it is time ofr tear gas and old fashion beat downs.

    • Jake

      Of course, I believe in NON-LETHAL: means of dealing with rioters…..It’s only ‘human’. So, I think that the POLICE, not the well unioinized firefighters, be allowed to use WATER CANNONS to wash a public place with good, clean, SANITARY, water so as to avoild a CHOLERA outbreak, or something worse. Remember alll of the calls in Haiti right after the massive earthqualke, but little since….guess it’s not that muchh of a news story right now. The ‘hikers in iran’ are SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT……

  • Gail

    Why do the TV stations continually give them air time? If they got NO air time, they would leave because no one was giving them free publicity.

  • Michele

    GGyrl, I respect your choices, but I want to point out that tents can obscure things like bombs, and these protests are volatile.

    I support one hundred percent these people’s right to protest, and I support one hundred percent the right of tea partiers to protest (except outside private residence – they need not to do that.)

    This is SO much better than indifference. As for those who oppose the protests – what are you afraid of?

    • B in MPLS

      They’re CLEAR tents. Kind of hard to obscure things in a CLEAR tent.

      Just sayin’

      • Jeff

        Your a fool. Even the picture in this article shows you can’t see through them.

        • Jake

          Especially at night, unless you have a very strong flashlight and a keen eye.

      • Jake

        So…WHEN have the ‘tea partiers’ been protesting outside the residences of regular citizens?? I have YET to hear about that…. Maybe you could provide some links….
        If only a couple of instances like that have happened, do you think that it is FAIR to paint the WHOLE GROUP with such a BROAD BRUSH??

  • B in MPLS

    Not that some of these people aren’t crazy, or lazy or (insert a word), but this same bashing occurred during the organizing of the Tea Party (which formed the exact same way) and look at them now. Hateful and crazy, yes, but influential in Washington? Absolutely!!

    You can’t deny that something has to happen in this country. It is a huge clusterf**k and we need to move in some decisive direction soon. This is just another voice in that conversation.

  • Jeff

    It’s a pretty good sign when socialists try to organize something like this in a metro area of 3+ million people and only a handful of people show up. You are the 99%? I think not. You are more like the .000000099%.

  • its time

    Break some bones and faces.

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