MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Anti-Wall Street protesters in Minneapolis defied a judge’s order Wednesday and began pitching tents on the plaza outside the Hennepin County Government Center.

Demonstrators rushed in to start setting up tents in front of speakers at an evening rally where protesters chanted, “We are the 99 percent.” Others gathered around the tents in a tight circle.

By 7:30 p.m., protesters had pitched about 30 tents as a crowd of about 200 milled about in the chilly air. Signs reading, “Arm the Poor,” ”Money for Jobs, Not War” and “Sleeping Is Not a Crime” marked some of the tents.

About a dozen sheriff’s deputies and county security officers stood on the outskirts of the encampment, some videotaping the scene but did not immediately move in.

The protesters announced their plans in advance, saying they would set up “99 tents for the 99 percent.” That’s a reference to slogans suggesting that 1 percent of the nation’s population controls the wealth while the other 99 percent suffers the consequences.

Charles Geller, 19, of Minneapolis said he planned to spend the night in his roomy tent because he cares for others.

“I care about the world, and I don’t like CEOs who make 350 times the average worker,” Geller said.

Another demonstrator, Steff Yorek, said she planned to stay the night to exercise her rights to protest and peacefully assemble.

“The laws against camping in public really are aimed at the homeless. I’m here in my tent speaking out on the issue of homelessness and foreclosures,” Yorek said.

Some of the protesters sued Hennepin County officials last week, saying the ban on tents and other restrictions violate their constitutional rights.

The protesters asked a federal judge to issue an order barring officials from enforcing the county’s rules against using tents, but Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle denied that request and ruled the county has the right to restrict tents and sleeping on the downtown plaza.

Citing case law, Kyle wrote: “Public parks are certainly quintessential public forums where free speech is protected, but the Constitution neither provides, nor has it ever been construed to mandate, that any person or group be allowed to erect structures at will.”

Kyle also ordered both sides into settlement talks.

Authorities said from the start that protesters could not have tents because they posed a risk to public safety. In the early days of the demonstration, some protesters tried to circumvent the rule by creating transparent structures: sheriff’s deputies tore them down in the middle of the night, but made no arrests.

The Minneapolis protest has at times drawn hundreds of people to some events, but a much smaller number has been spending the night. As of Monday, there have been just over two dozen arrests in Minneapolis since the protest began Oct. 7.

Comments (60)
  1. Evil2Hope says:

    ahh the stupidity

    1. Evil2Hope says:

      Edith!! Get me another beer!!

      1. Evil2Hope says:

        I don’t need to yell I just throw the empties at her! lol

  2. Jake says:

    Yep, keep it up, maybe these ‘occupiers’ will have their OWN pepper spray, to fight off the cops, with “non-lethal” weapons, in order to defend themselves. Should be interesting, to be sure. Have you seen the GARBAGE that has been cleared in LA, Philly, NY, and other places?? The cleanup workers are wearing HAZMAT suits, and probably for GOOD REASON.

  3. stung4ever says:

    It’s very simple.

    These people have a right to protest.

    They don’t have a right to erect a shanty town on public property. They don’t have a right to impeded use of public property, or to impede traffic. They don’t have a right to resist the police when they’re evicted.

    1. A Voter says:

      Everyone, including you, has the right to be foolish, at least once.

    2. Jerry Frey says:

      Duty to protest.

  4. Sultan Fakhary says:

    I have a feeling the Hennepin County Jail will be QUITE full tonight…….But at least they can then “protest” in the warmth of a jail cell. LOL!

    1. me says:

      Actually; if the cops are smart (NOT a sure thing); they’ll let mother nature argue with the idiots for a while THEN bust them. After a few nights of below freezing temps the occuwimps will kiss the cops feet (and a$$es) for a night in a warm cell

  5. Mike Jacobson says:

    I don’t understand some people. If they spent as much time and effort looking for a job, they wouldnt have the strength or energy to break the law protesting about the wealthy.

    1. Jerry Frey says:

      Where are the jobs? Wal-mart?

      1. AntiTeabagger says:

        Look in the paper any job that brings in a dollar is an honest job. Not lying around waiting for hand outs., Geez no education, no experience, what you want 100K job for what?

      2. Evil2Hope says:

        God forbid you learn an actual skill. That is a lot like work! I’m sure all our problems would be solved if we just sat around and cried about how no one is giving us the money I didn’t have the initiative to EARN. Did the parents of these people teach them that the fridge magically grows food? Someone put it there…

  6. Redneck Purist says:

    Has anyone seen my flame thrower?

    1. A Voter says:

      No, it must be stuck somewhere where it doesn’t shine.

    2. Jesse M says:

      A Flame thrower? On American protesters? people losing there jobs? Homes? Future?, watching big banks getting bailed out while we get kicked out?

      Watching our jobs being sent overseas, vets and familys living on the streets? Big bank money controlling our political leaders?

      A Flamethrower? Really? very sad.

      1. Bobby Mgee says:

        I agree, people are such sheep. Wake up people times are changing and you are the victims.

      2. AntiTeabagger says:

        So by laying on the floor kicking and screaming life is not fair is solving something? enlighten me.

  7. john st.paul says:

    I would have my job right now if it wasn’t for the riches donations. so get off their back!

  8. john st.paul says:

    would not sorry

  9. john st.paul says:

    this is why we call ourselves the country of opportunity and why others want to live here. we all have that opportunity to be rich. so get off your butts and get a job and maybe just maybe you could work your way to the top like they did.

  10. Kevin says:

    Oh for the love of God! I get the whole protest thing. And good for them. I wish they could change things. God knows the Liberals and GOP cant walk and chew gum at the same time. I am begining to believe that we need a good old fashioned revolition to solve our problems. The Govt continues to grow and suck the life out of all of us. Your property value drops 30%….but they increase your property taxes 10%…..they get voters to approve a “Clean water tax”….then years later they are still trying to figure out how to spend it. You cant make it up. Our educational systems are maxed out. The St Cloud school system now has 26 different languages spoken! Are you kidding me? Illegals are every where taking jobs from real Americans. Europe is on the brink of collapse……the EDL march to protect what’s left of England. We have politically corrected our self to death. MN nice is now MN Ganster……Our social experiment has failed. And a Merry Christmas to all……and to all a good nite….

  11. So boring says:

    This is sooo boring. Look, pitching a tent in a public square doesn’t say anything, it says you are pitching a tent in a public square. No One Cares Anymore.You guys never say anything. OH ya, Wall Steet got bailed out and we Blah, Blah, Blah. Please don’t say you represent the 99%. The real 99% is out working and supporting ourselves and families. Get off our side, you give the real 99% a bad name. By the way, if you did get bailed out, tuiton paid or whatever, who do you think picks up the tab? Thats right morons, the real 99% and we are sick up picking up tabs

    1. Jon says:

      Thank God someone said this finally.

  12. mn12345 says:

    For those that “think” they know why they are out there maybe you should pay more attention.

    They are teachers that have not had raises, have had pay cuts and used their own money to teach “your” children. They are servicemen that should be making as much money as these so called politicians that have no idea what they are doing as far as running a country. They are retired people that are waiting for their social security to be cut off and have already had cuts in their medicare even though they worked and paid for it their whole lives.

    Why in the world do you think the numbers drop out there except during marches that take place in the evenings? They are at work. They take shifts during the day because some of them are college students.

    Young minds have been changing things for the better for generations farther back then you can imagine. If it weren’t for them you wouldn’t have the liberty to be sitting on that contraption typing away right here right now.

    Steve Jobs was a college dropout. Look at Einstein. Look at Picasso. Read the history on these people. Read what people believed about them during their time. Yet today we enjoy the luxuries of these great minds.

    7.7 trillion dollars and people just sit back and say nothing. There is something wrong that picture. Me? I want my money back.

    The excuse that was used when they did this was that unemployment would hit 9% if they didn’t, hmmmm…. Did we not go over that.

    And by the way, any one of you that would like to give up their job since there aren’t enough for everyone in America anyway since these rich people send them overseas, I am sure someone else would gladly take it.

    Anyone’s job is vulnerable and it isn’t over yet. Inflation will continue to rise and more companies will shut their doors and gas dropped for a couple of days but it is headed back up. Companies need to make up for that.

    I’d be careful what you hope for and say about out of work people.

    1. Reality sucks says:

      wow– there! my kind of human!

      1. Citizen says:

        @Reality. Try to read Robert Reich’s blog from yesterday, November 30. He speaks to what CONservatives REALLY want and it isn’t what they are conning the voters into thinking they want. Very succinct and to the point…

        1. Reality sucks says:

          Good read. Tied in nicely with a WSJ article I read in regard to the Republican morph that has occurred over the past 50 years. The deformation that has occurred deems the party DEAD.

    2. thanks says:

      So very well said, thank you. At least there’s one other sane person out there.

    3. Gaia Mother of All says:

      THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! mn12345! Here I was worried there were no intelligent, forward-thinking, compassionate people left in MN.

      (Not only did the Strib coverage suck, the reader comments are unfathomably sick.)

    4. Evil2Hope says:

      You’re dumb and delusional.

  13. Lock and Load says:

    If they really want their goverment to provide jobs for them, move to Russia, Putin is close to starting the Soviet Union II. America provides you the best chance making a good life, it just takes some effort, it also allows you to fail. You sleep in the bed YOU made smelly dummies.

    1. Jerry Frey says:

      Lock and Load:

      Wish you would point one at me. Laugh in your face – fool.

      Wall Street FAILED – where do the banksters sleep? In a van down by the River?

      1. Bobby Mgee says:

        This is not the same America fool. don’t be such a sheep, BAHHHHH BAHHHHH

  14. joy says:

    My tax dollars are being used to keep these bums there; security, cleaning, etc… Go home, or wherever it is you came from. This has become a sideshow, a carnival obscurity. Remember all the ilk surrounding the Tea Party gatherings? I don’t want to hear anymore complaining from the left about Tea Party organizers or gatherings, cause this Occupy movement sets the bar for “legal” yet unethical protesting. You lefties may disagree with conservative values and beliefs, but not one Tea Party participant urinated or defecated on persons or property. Just disgusting.

    1. Jerry Frey says:

      Different generation, bub. The Tea Party uses Depends.

  15. Carey says:

    Spray the flea bags with water. They are the 1/2 percent of the 1 percent they claim to be. This trash has never held a job and if offered wouldn’t work. Besides if I owned a company I wouldn’t hire any of those I have seen pictures of or seen on TV, Just plain filth.

  16. Gaia Mother of All says:

    If you STILL do not know what OWS is about, you are living under a rock.
    The FACTS are there back them up, which leaves you detractors left with personal attacks. How quaint.

    1965: production worker (average) $19.61 per hour
    2007: production worker (average) $19.71 per hour
    1965: CEO pay (hourly basis for comparative purposes) $490.31
    2007: CEO pay (hourly basis for comparative purposes) $5,419.97

    1. Ralph says:

      SUCH B.S. no production worker in 1965 made that kind of money. You have bad data

      1. AntiTeabagger says:

        Yeah, maybe $1.96 per hour.

      2. Citizen says:

        @Ralph. Wrong. Plenty of production workers made that kind of money. My cousin was UAW and he made much more than that… He retired in the early ’70’s making over $65,000 a year.

        1. BigBubba says:

          He sold ya a Bill of Goods there huh Citizen….and to add insult to your stupidity
          he didn’t tell you how much was OT – all base.
          I was UAW in the 70’s too – I was at $9.45 an hour in 1977 when I left. I could get 20 hours a week in OT and that meant I could make some pretty decent money for the era. But I lived to work too as it was 6-7 days a week to do it.
          I am not complaining as it was decent money but not easy money.
          If I factored in cost of health insurance, companies SS contribution and retirement contribution too I imagine it was equal to maybe $14-$15 and hour. Outside of maybe some in Detroit – few made remotely close to what you are talking. Nice try ….. lol

          1. Citizen says:

            Okay, Bubba, had you worked for Ford for 30 years and received regular raises and promotions, too? I know my cousin would not sell me a “bill of goods”, and I also know he did not work 6-7 days a week. He had time to build three homes with his own hands and raise 9 kids. And how dare you call him a liar–he just died of cancer.

            1. Carl says:

              Nice way to argue, Citizen. No body called anybody a liar. Bubba stated that he actually worked for UAW in the 70’s VS your hearsay. I am sure your cousin was a great guy, but that has nothing to do with the topic.

            2. Architect says:

              Every family has its exaggerators especially about income

              1. Citizen says:

                @Carl & Architect. No exaggeration about the UAW pay at all. I know because I was alive to witness my cousin’s success and also the success of other union workers in my hometown. You two are obviously young and relying on “historical” information or faux news–whichever. And, yes, Carl, Bubba baby did call my cousin a liar when he said he “sold me a bill of goods.” But then, you CONservatives lie so much and couch those lies in politically correct B S that I don’t doubt you understand the definitions involved. And now I am done with this particular thread….so you people can take up your fact-challenged posts with someone else.

                1. Carl says:

                  You make a point based on hearsay yet everyone elses opinion is “fact challenged”? Wow, arent you superior to everyone else!

      3. Mark says:

        @ Ralph
        Pull your head out of what you are sitting on!

        The wages stated are in today’s dollars focusing on today’s prices!

        My God! Some of you posters need to get an education, or try to use some reasoning!

  17. Barney Rubble says:

    Thank God these people are standing up for whats wrong with this country. We have vets coming home from Afghanistan getting injured for the rights they went there to protect. Its about time we took it to the streets. I find it very disturbing all the negative and hateful comments on this page. We have suceeded with our message. If we hadnt succeeded i wouldnt see all these negative comments. We are winning! It is time for the 99% to take back this country, and we will. Sit back and watch. I cant wait to see all the negative comments that will come from this post. We will win! It is already happening and all you negative people cant do anything about it. God bless the USA

    1. Jerry Frey says:

      When the OWS and the Tea Party recognize their common interest, change, then there will be CHANGE for a change. Elections won’t do it.

    2. AntiTeabagger says:

      I am a vet and I think they are simple sheep in a lost cause. No leadership, no agenda no nothing. A bunch of idiors walking around crying because no one if giving them a piece of the american pie, Guess what you have to WORK for that Pie. Do you reallly think that most Americans stay up all night worried about what the CEO of trhe comoany is making? If they do, they need a life.

      1. ferrari33 says:

        If they had leadership there would be a Civil war…The way they are ignored like they are not there, They had better watch out…It could happen..

  18. mll says:

    Does that sign in the video say “proGect”? Maybe they should be protesting for better education.

  19. Gustie1999 says:

    So here’s an interesting little tidbit from the story: “…I’m here in my tent speaking out on the issue of homelessness and foreclosures” …

    REALLY?? You’re speaking out on the issue of homeless … while in a tent to protect yourself from the elements? With your sleeping bag, coat, hats, mittens, hot coffee, etc? I’m sure the homeless people walking by truly appreciate the gesture …

  20. Debby says:

    Is reading the constitution to see where it say I have the right to pitch a tent anywhere I want…whooohoooo..now I won’t have to drive to work everyday!!!!!

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