MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota is asking Hennepin County to rescind new restrictions on OccupyMN protesters.

The ACLU-MN contends the restrictions violate the protesters’ First Amendment rights.

But a county spokeswoman says Hennepin County is rejecting the request. Carolyn Marinan says the government plaza occupied by protesters needs to be winterized, and she cites health and safety concerns.

Under the new restrictions, protesters at the downtown Minneapolis plaza will have to consolidate their possessions and can’t leave them unattended or they’ll be taken.

Signs will not be allowed to be taped to plaza property. And overnight sleeping won’t be allowed once significant snow falls or the temperature falls below 25 degrees.

Friday marks one month since protesters occupied the plaza in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (78)
  1. Chuck says:

    Oh boy, finally the ACLU. First the communists, socialists, anarchists, and Marxist. Then came SEIU, Acorn, and the AFL-CIO. Now the left is pulling out the ACLU, desperation…………………

    1. Realist says:

      I see someone watched Fox & Friends this morning.

    2. Tim Geithner says:

      How right you are. WCCO just reports and reports and reports on these 10 people who can spend the night out of their parent’s basementsIII WHO CARES? Their cause is stupid and they need showers!!!

  2. molly says:

    OccupyDC: After more than a month of protest demands for better employment opportunities and benefits, Accuracy in Media saw fit to test their desires with…employment applications. Our “headhunters” were treated to every excuse as to why these jobs aren’t good enough for them. The idea that recent college graduates or typical jobs seekers should work their way up from an entry-level position is lost on the #Occupy crowd.

    1. Jake says:

      As Gomer Pyle would say, “Surprise, surprise, surprise!!!”

      1. Jake Mehauf says:

        As Jale would say, Huh?

    2. Wesly says:

      Where is the footage, I think you lie

    3. Obama Sucks says:

      Why work when government will take care of you?

      1. Citizen says:

        Why work when you can spend all day posting nonsense?

  3. Swamp Fox says:

    Hey folks! I am not against the Constitutional Rights of the Occupy MN protesters but I am against foolhardy thoughtless demonstrations in Minnesota winter weather that border on mass pandemic idiocy. If the protesters are against governmental wasteful spending and troublesome economic conditions then why don’t the protesters take a siesta during the nighttimes from their Hennepin County park rally area?

    Is trying to run-up administrative, cleanup, health care, sanitation, security, and legal costs and expenditures to the county and to the taxpayers they are supposedly trying to represent? Who is going to pay for this protest to continue? Sorry Occupy MN folks but this taxpayer’s support for your cause only goes so far. Committing reckless and wanton self-destruction of one’s body and self with reckless abandon of your health and personal winter safety is going to far. If I can’t get decent health care or services because of being uninsured then should I or anyone pay for your self-destructive health decisions etcetera. See my point?

  4. molly says:

    I’m with you!!

  5. Greg says:

    It may be time for the 99% of us to take back our city and state from these morons who think they represent the rest of us. I would gladly help escort the buffoons off our public property. I also think we should bill these dopes for all the costs that the city, county, and state have incurred the past month. Go home and stay home!!!!!

    1. Realist says:

      Yea, don’t exercise your constitutional rights! Go home and watch TV! That’s the American way!

      1. Jenny says:

        Or sit in a public space, where you’ve made a mess for a month , violating the rights of those who don’t share your political opinions, while playing with the iPad that your Mom and Dad bought for you.

  6. Rasputin says:

    Have any of you seen it down there? It looks horrible… I pay taxes to have that plaza look presentable. It looks like a homeless camp outside a land fill in Calcutta. It looks horrible. What about my rights as a hard working middle class tax payer? Go home already, or go occupy DC. You don’t have any direction or even know what your protesting. Most of you are paid protesters and aren’t even from this state. So stop wasting my tax money on having the Sheriff and City keep an eye on you so you don’t trash the place more. Nobody cares anymore.

    1. Realist says:

      “or even know what your protesting”

      I see someone got their daily dose of right-wing propaganda. If you actually took some effort to understand what they are protesting, you wouldn’t be saying stupid stuff.

      1. bobby says:

        @ Realist- So fill us in then. What exactly does this group want to accomplish? Why are they protesting? If you can write it down and have it make sense, then MAYBE some people will not be so quick to dismiss this group.
        There is no clear vision from these people. Enlighten us.

        1. Citizen says:

          bobby, they are protesting Voo Doo economics as practiced and promoted by Reagan and Conservatives. They are tired of being “trickled on!”

          1. bobby says:

            Oh wait…..here are the list of demand from OWS. I did NOT make this up.

            Demand one: Restoration of the living wage. This demand can only be met by ending “Freetrade” by re-imposing trade tariffs on all imported goods entering the American market to level the playing field for domestic family farming and domestic manufacturing as most nations that are dumping cheap products onto the American market have radical wage and environmental regulation advantages. Another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hr.

            Demand two: Institute a universal single payer healthcare system. To do this all private insurers must be banned from the healthcare market as their only effect on the health of patients is to take money away from doctors, nurses and hospitals preventing them from doing their jobs and hand that money to wall st. investors.

            Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.

            Demand four: Free college education.

            Demand five: Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand.

            Demand six: One trillion dollars in infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Rail, Roads and Bridges and Electrical Grid) spending now.

            Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America’s nuclear power plants.

            Demand eight: Racial and gender equal rights amendment.

            Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.

            Demand ten: Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system.

            Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the “Books.” World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the “Books.” And I don’t mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period.

            Demand twelve: Outlaw all credit reporting agencies.

            Demand thirteen: Allow all workers to sign a ballot at any time during a union organizing campaign or at any time that represents their yeah or nay to having a union represent them in collective bargaining or to form a union.

            1. Citizen says:

              What’s your point, bobby? If you knew the answer, why did you ask the question? How about explaining Demand Nine?

              1. bobby says:

                My point is that this movement is a HUGE joke. How can they expect to be taken seriously with ridiculous demands like this?

                1. Jake says:

                  I get it. We go back to living in the 1800’s. No rule of law, no obligations to meet,
                  no cars, trucks or motorcycles, ATVs, motorboats, air travel. ALL electric power will be generated ONLY by the sun, wind, or water. No other products that come from oil can be produced. No incentive to achieve anything, because if we are all paid the same, regardless of effort or personal ability, what’s the point? I spent a day in East Berlin a year before the ‘wall’ came down. Pretty scary and sad stuff. Who will enforce all of these new ‘rules’?

                2. Citizen says:

                  @for Jake. The Amish are quite successful with their rejection of 21st Century culture and technology, they are industrious and don’t outsource their work! Plus, apparently they don’t suffer depression to the degree that us technologically-savvy folks do!

      2. The Truth says:

        I see someone got their daily dose of talking points from (seiu, local communist organization, some idiot at the rally, msnbc PICK ONE). If you actually took some effort to understand who and what is really responsible for the issues, you wouldn’t be posting your garbabe.

  7. Justice4All says:

    Free speech is alive and well. The protesters have every right to continue their protest for as long as they want.

    1. ck says:

      jeez Justice4All – thanks for taking a piece of my freedom for your cause. How much of my city do I have to give you? Who gives you the right to speak for me? Where is my representation in your self-contaminated world?

      1. Justice4All says:

        ck…I’m not part of Occupy Wallstreet but I absolutely support their right to protest. You see that’s how it works in this country. By protecting someone else’s right to free speech, you are protecting your own right to speak freely, assemble, etc. If you feel strongly against what they are doing, no one is stopping you from camping out along side them to represent your point of view (if you can stand the cold and poor living conditions). No one has taken away any of your freedoms.

        1. The Truth says:

          Protesters can come every day and leave every night. No one group has the right to take over public property. Get those idiots out of there to give the garbage haulers time to clear out the disgusting mess, fumigate and disinfect the plaza.

      2. A Voter says:

        Who died and left you in charge?

        1. ck says:

          Sorry, I thought we all had a voice.

          1. A Voter says:

            “How much of my city do I have to give you?”
            Everyone has a voice, but the city doesn’t belong to you alone.

  8. Mr. T says:

    If they had to work like the rest fo us, they wouldn’t be out there! When does the ball game start?

  9. Justice4All says:

    Hey Kevin….I see you’re taking time out from gay bashing and making random racist comments to threaten violence against Americans who are exercising their right to free speech. So now you’re advocating bashing someone’s head in because you disagree with them? Seriously? Do you ever read what you write?

  10. Mark says:

    To all of you naysayers who saythat the occupy protesters are all unemployed, I work 3 jobs, and I can’t understand why the rest of you posters who hate us can’t allow us our right to speech and a redress of our grieveances? Are you all MIllionaires who have no worries? Do the neighborhoods you live in have no home foreclousures? Do you know no one who has lost their job, and has been unable to maintain a standard of living that they deserve? Or what about the 50-plus year olds who have no chance of being re-hired into a job for the rest of their working lives?

    You say the sight of the protesters makes you angry, but I am thankful for the ability to say I have had enough of a nation that is a plutocracy, and is only concerned with greed and selfishness.

  11. Murph says:

    It certainly looks like time has run out! The Party of NO has kept it’s sabotage agenda intact and it has succeeded.There is no escape for anyone,even the super rich will suffer punishing loses that will not be reversed.So I hope the GOP is real happy.We will all meet them in Hell much sooner than later! Move out to the woods if you can ..NOW! The end really is near! The cities will go first,the rest of us later! They have killed each and every effort to fix the economy.It’s done and can’t be undone!

    1. The Truth says:

      oh, boo hoo hoo…. It’s the marxist left who is attempting to weaken and destroy America.

  12. Jake says:

    Water cannons and police dogs are what we NEED right now. Unless they have the seeds to use pitchforks on politicians in their offices, they are meaningless. opat, are you paying attention??

    1. A Voter says:

      “1 in 15 Americans are now rated as the poorest poor.”

  13. retired but not stupid says:

    If they are to stupid to come in out of the cold..

    Let them get frostbite…. and than bill them (and / or their parents) every penny of the medical costs…

    1. Jake says:

      Or let them freeze to death in their sleeping bags, then the city won’t have to pay for body bags. Just haul them away in what they are sleeping in. If they wan’t to pursue martyrdom in this way, that is their choice, but it wouldn’t be mine.

  14. Rags says:

    Union thugs and the ACLU. Fellow travelers. Supporting freaks and losers. No surprise there.

  15. Dean says:

    The OCCUPY (whatever town) has to stop. The so-called 99% are really also only 1%. The rest of us 98% are going to to work everyday or actively looking for employment. Maybe you should stop this nonsense and realize that just because you supposedly have an education doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have to start at the bottoom like many us did.

  16. Pat says:

    Who cares….

    Just a bunch of whiners anyway.

  17. ck says:

    I no longer support the effort – as unions and lawyers grab their piece of the pie, I just keep paying. First my 401K, now my tax money. Can we camp out in the hallways of the ACLU and demand that our city plaza be restored to its original condition? Will a union support me, the common dweeb, if I don’t pay dues? You folks no longer represent me,. you are the enemy too.

  18. grizzlyman says:

    Let them live in their own excrement until winter hits. See how many remain after the cold comes.

  19. Mark says:

    So, you all think THIS costs? Here are some damn facts for alll of you ….

    A typical home foreclosure costs a local government on average $19,000. With 9,393 homes in foreclosure in Hennepin county,the current cost of foreclosures to the resin=dents of Hennepin county is 180.6 MILLION DOLLARS!!!

    home values in Hennepin county are $75,000 less on average than at the beginning of the housing crisis. That is a total devaluation of $22.7 BILLION DOLLARS in Hennepin County alone, or a decrease in tax revenue of $268 million to the county and municipalities.

    Not to mention the human costs of loss of shelter for people. This is who we care about at occupy. WE CARE ABOUT OUR PEOPLE!!

    Oh, and my figures come from zillow.com

    1. Harry says:

      so whats your point, don’t buy a house you can’t afford or you will end up in a tent downtown?

      1. Mike says:

        Hey Harry, did you pay cash for your house? That is the only way you can afford a house. Hedging your job and monthly payments is a gamble that EVERYONE takes when having a mortgage. Sometimes you can be so stupid.

        1. Harry says:

          It doesn’t take a rocket homeowner to know you do a few basic things before you buy a house. First you have six months house payments (a year is better obviously) in the bank as back up. Your house payment should only be one weeks salary. And you don’t buy a house unless you are stable in a job that you have had for at least a year. It doesn’t guarentee you won’t loose your home due to forclosure but it is less likely.

          1. Beth says:

            I agree Harry but you forgot the most important point. Don’t elect a president that is going to take money away from those responsible enough to follow those simple rules and give it to those that are not.

            1. Mikea says:

              That’s funny Beth, but maybe you need to loosen those blinders as every Republican candidate for President has proposed a flat tax which will eliminate tax deductions for home owners and child credits. Let’s see how that works out for the Neanderthal supporters of Tea Bag policies.

              1. beth says:

                I agree in eliminating all loop holes in the tax system. Everybody should be paying taxes regardless of what they make. And not all candidates are proposing a flat tax. If you can’t make a point with the facts maybe you don’t have a point.

                1. Citizen says:

                  @beth. How about we discuss fixes to the national tax policy that will ACTUALLY happen? Tax loopholes are not going to be closed any time soon. The quickest, easiest fix should just be to raise taxes on the wealthy before we start tinkering with the U.S. Tax Code which will tax an enormous amount of time and energy. Historically, the wealthiest are paying the lowest taxes ever, and historically have paid much, much more of their income percentage. Here are some statistics for you:

                  “From 1950 through 1963, when our top income tax rate was 91% (and the top corporate tax rate was 50% or more), our economy grew an average of 3.67%, and we reduced our national debt as a % of our economy significantly.

                  From 1964 through 1981, when our top income tax rate was 70% (with a couple of exceptions when it was higher, such as 75% or 72%), our economy grew an average of 3.4% per year. The top corporate tax rate hovered in the 48% to 52% range during this era. We also reduced our national debt as a % of our economy during this period.

                  All told, we reduced our national debt as a % of our economy from more than 90% in 1950 to 33% by 1980.

                  From 1982 to 1986, when the top income tax rate was 50% and the corporate tax rate was 46%, our economy grew an average of 4.8% per year. This was the era in which there was tremendous growth associated with falling interest rates after Paul Volker had increased them to very high levels in order to curb inflation. National debt started to increase dramatically during this period.

                  From 1987 through 1992, when the top rate was reduced to 38.5%, then 28%, then increased to 31%, our economy grew an average of 2.5% per year. The corporate tax rate was also significantly reduced, first to 40% (1987) then to 39% (1988 to 1992, but was actually only 34% for the highest levels of corporate income). Our national debt continued to explode in this era, reaching 66% of our GDP by 1992, when it had been half of that in 1980.

                  From 1993 to 2000, the top income tax rate was increased to 39.6%, and our economy grew an average of 4% per year. The top corporate tax rate was reduced to 35%. National debt dropped as a percentage of our economy from 66% to 56%.

                  From 2001 through 2010, when the top tax rate was reduced to 35%, our economy grew 1.6% a year, and of course our national debt has exploded, rising from 56% up to over 90%.

                  The OWS protesters have much to protest!

      2. Mark says:

        @ Harry;

        What is my point? Push back from your coffee and open your eyes! Each foreclosure costs all of us in reduced revenue, property devaluation, increased taxes to those who are still in their homes because the money for everything a community needs has to come from somewhere.

        Welcome to the new Hoovervilles. Brought to you by too many years of failed policies and to a 10 year military conflict with the bill placed on future committments. This whole economic decline began before W left office, so don’t blame it all on Obama. Yes some of his policies have also not worked as well as hoped, but this recession began before he was sworn in.

        And to the person who said move. I have tried, but emmigrating from this nation is harder than moving into it! And I’d like to stay here, in the hope that eventually it will be a better place to live once again!

        1. Harry says:

          The housing market collapse has nothing to do with wars. Everyone now agrees that it was caused by governments involvement trying to provide low income familys houses by lowering the standards in getting a loan. They all agree this was wrong. It started in the Clinton administration and continued until the collapse. Only Bush tried to control this but was accused by Dodd, Frank, Waters, and every other dem on the housing commitee of a war on the poor. Because he had a dem congress he could not stop this policy.

          1. Citizen says:

            @Harry. You profess a very simplifed version of the housing bubble. Try this:

            “Should we really care if a small percentage holds such vast wealth otherwise? One problem: we are removing the incentive to get trained and work hard when one segment pulls in such wealth by not doing but passing papers around. The bedrock core of American values, in the economic realm, has rested on a willingness to work. If one can no longer attain “the good life” for oneself and one’s family, where is the incentive?

            The most wealthy class not only cordons off the benefits they wish for themselves by bidding up the price, they distort the marketplace by moving their money around in passive investments.

            The collapse of 2008 was brought on, as all bubbles are, by too much money seeking too little opportunity. The moneyed class thought they had a way to spin gold from the mortgages of those below them, so they went whole hog. This will keep happening so long as our economy is far out of balance. It is the way of our foreseeable future, bubble after bubble, collapse followed by another.

            There are simple remedies: pay the working people of America better. Take away 1/3 to 1/2 of dividend income and give it to the people who sweat and toil. The Markets will wretch, but, in time adjust. WalMart makes billions by exploiting its workers. Stop. And, yes, stop giving huge tax breaks to the wealthy.”

          2. Mark says:

            Although a problem, the larger problem in this issue is the repeal of the Glass_Steagle act which placed limits on the risk investments a bank or financial institution could enter into, as well as the repeal by the Reagan administration which opened the ability of banks to do business across state and regional borders. Can you say the birth of the too big to fail bank?

            Prior to that legislation, Banks were contained as to the amount of wealth they held by limiting the mergers and aquisitions they could obtain. This kept banks at a managable level should they enter into a question of solvency.

            As far as the Housing bubble is concerned, the mortgage brokers also need to share in the blame, but in our capitalism-on-steroids economic situation, no one would dare stand in the way of the biogger getting bigger, while the rest of us hear the echoes of Marie Antoinette:

            “The peasants are starving? Let them eat cake!”

    2. Jacky C says:

      What was left out of the Alphebet’s news ? OH ya, a comment “EVERYONE CHEATS” by the head of US bank. Gotta Love our ABC media . Its a recession when THEY lose there jobs and homes. Its a DEPRESSION, when YOU lose yours.

      IGotta Love the “WATERCAN”EM posters, …must be more of that compassionate conservitism that worked so well.

  20. he not says:

    We all do deserve a right to be heard. But with that who is going to listen to those that have been fortunate in life. Does Warren Buffet deserve to hide his money and only take out pieces? This type of thing leave little room for the small man to make his place in the World. Who out there can tell me how rich I might be able to become with the government out of my way?

  21. See BS says:

    Funny how the ACLU doesn’t have a problem with the police taking blood, pee and DNA from people without a search warrant.

    According to the 5th amendment you can refuse a BAC test.

    They are so obviously pick and choose about civil rights.

  22. Just Curious says:

    Just curious. If you hold the protestersters to the letter of the law on littering and camping on public property there should be no problems. That would be the police’s job. The actions of the protestors have people like you, Jake, and others wanting to do phycical harm. Are people like you threatened by them? DDoess an anti greed message bother yo that much. Or is itas you say Kevin, you are a POS?

  23. Citizen says:

    Here is a comment from the NY Times that was agreed with by nearly a 1,000 readers, and it bears repeating here with kudos to the students who took on a Harvard college professor:

    “Interestingly the subject of income inequality and conservative obfuscation around same came to a (small) head at Harvard College this week. A number of students in Harvard’s Introduction to Economics course stood up and walked out on the professor to signify both their support for the Occupy movement and their discomfort at the way he has been downplaying the problems of income inequality.

    That professor, Gregory Mankiw, a former Bush economic adviser, stated in an NPR interview yesterday morning that things like tax breaks for the wealthy had little to no impact on income inequality. In fact, he claimed, the single biggest factor in the huge disparity in wealth in this country is due to people not getting the proper education needed to pick up all those swanky executive and high-tech jobs with the big salaries just lying around.

    This is a page right out of the Conservatives’ Guide to Income Inequality Denial. The problem isn’t the orgy of deregulation and lack of oversight during the Bush years, it has nothing to do with greedy bankers and unscrupulous brokers, cozy deals and tax codes that favor the ultra rich elites play no role either. So why are people doing so poorly? Easy.

    It’s their own fault.

    It would be interesting to see this whole ‘individual responsibility’ trope turned on its head. Would many of the one percenters be so well off if it weren’t for obscene tax breaks, connections, crony capitalism, insider deals, support and protection from friends in congress? If they, had to make it on their own? According to apologists like Mankiw, there are scads of great jobs just waiting to be scooped up if only those poor people weren’t so lazy.

    This is in no way a Philippic against personal responsibility. Certainly people should be prepared and try to do whatever they can to make a decent life for themselves and maintain economic stability. But people like Mankiw refuse to acknowledge that the game is rigged in favor of the few and against the many.

  24. Citizen says:

    Also, for thought. The last time the top 1% accounted for 20% of total national income was 1928. And when was the last time people pitched tents in public places looking for some government action? Hoovervilles in the Great Depression. What was the government’s reaction to the veterans who asked Hoover for money promised to them by the federal governement for their service? U.S. troops fired on their fellow veterans to displace them from their tent city.

    1. Reality sucks says:

      As usual, you’re the only one worth reading on this page. Thanks for putting in the work to bring perspective, facts, and commonsense— to this page of(mostly) junk speak.

      1. Citizen says:

        @Reality. I do worry about the OWS protesters. I wish they would go home at night and do their “occupation” just during the day. Not only is the degrading weather an issue, but the “hate” I see revealed on these message boards is a real concern. I remember in the 1960’s that law enforcement became part of the problem and not part of the solution in the civil rights marches and the student protests.

  25. Realist says:

    LOl, you’re delusional. You actually want to use violence against your own people. You are classy!

  26. A voter says:

    How many people complaining about the protesters here are in the 1% making over $400,000.00 per year? These people don’t realize that they have one foot in the grave, and the other on a banana peel, they could be the new homeless.

    1. Jake says:

      I am not one of the “1%”, but my feet are not in a grave or stepping on banana peels, either. But, a jetliner could nosedive into my home next week while I’m sleeping, or I could get killed by and unemployed college grad who thinks that it is ok to text and drive. The difference between people like you and me is that I have prepared myself for life’s bumps in the road, and I have learned how to overcome them. You apparently didn’t. Some people are QUITTERS, and some refuse to. This nation wasn’t built or defended by QUITTERS.

  27. Alvin Frankenstein says:

    I’m with you too Kevin!!!!!!

  28. Citizen says:

    Jake, you are one unplanned accident or health issue away from personal economic disaster. Financially, getting killed or dying are simple; it’s when you survive and need a lot of care and incur a lot of UNPLANNED expenses that life gets messy. You can’t plan for a debilitating stroke or heart attack. People like you who brag about how well they’ve planned tend to get reminded of the fragility of existence.

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