Reporting Holly Wagner
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Police moved in Thursday morning to break up the latest protest by Occupy Minnesota, which eventually led to two people being arrested.
On Wednesday night, the anti-Wall Street group set up about two dozen tents to protest a recent ruling that bans them from sleeping at Government Plaza in Minneapolis.
Around 4 a.m. Thursday morning, police started taking down the tents and structures erected by the demonstrators.
Witnesses said officers asked the protesters to leave, but when the protesters wouldn’t, they started pulling them out of the tents. In that incident, there were no arrests.
Police then packed up the tents and began putting them onto trucks and that’s when the scene got a little rowdy, according to witnesses.
Demonstrators were upset and tried to keep officers from leaving by standing in front of the vehicle.
According to Sgt. Bill Palmer, police arrested Michael Anthony Bounds with obstruction with force and David Nucleo Alexander, 44, with obstruction without force.
Deputies said they were following the orders the county put in place that no tents are allowed outside the Hennepin County Government Center.
Last week, some people sued county officials because they thought the ban on tents and other restrictions violated their constitutional rights. A federal judge, however, ruled that the county has the right to restrict sleeping on the plaza.
Some protesters set up tents across the street in front of Minneapolis City Hall, but they were taken down around 9 a.m. There were two arrested in that incident — one for obstructing the legal process and one for defying the ordinance.
As temperatures get colder, it’s not clear how long they’ll be able to stay. Some demonstrators have already had to go to the hospital to be treated for hypothermia — one of the reasons that the county said it is so dangerous to tent out.
The protesters have occupied the plaza since early October.
YouTube Videos Of Protesters (credit: Dan Feidt)