MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Winter weather and new restrictions are making it increasingly difficult for the Occupy Minnesota protest to keep its place on the Hennepin County Government Plaza, which protesters have been occupying since Oct. 7.

Hennepin County officials told protesters Friday that they have until 10 p.m. to move their personal belongings off the plaza. If they refuse, the county said it will take the restricted items and throw them away.

The only items that can be left in the plaza are the protester’s signs, county officials said.

The scene at Government Plaza Friday was markedly sober with only a few protesters picking up the items they didn’t want discarded. Only a day before, dozens of protesters took to the plaza and police arrested two men who attempted to keep tents up on government property.

The protesters said they feel they’re being forced out, and some, like Ben Painter, want to continue protesting elsewhere.

“I just know I want our voices to be heard,” Painter said. “If people can actually come down and talk to us about what’s going on in this country — the wars, the corporations, the corruption in our government — I hope that’s what can come of this.”

The county’s winter restrictions don’t allow protesters to sleep on the plaza when temperatures dip below 25 degrees or when there is considerable snow – enough to be plowed.

Comments (67)
  1. Sam I am says:

    Hey Ben Painter – get a job!

    1. Ignorance is No Excuse says:

      He buddy read the Constitution – and If you have trouble interpreting it – have someone smarter than you explain it to you.

    2. These Protesters are a Joke! says:

      These protesters are great for laughs!

  2. Brian who has to work for a living says:

    If only these people were occupying an employment agency and truly help our economy! Anyone who is trying to provide for themselves or family cant possibly sit around for a month with no game plan or organization.

    1. me says:

      Yah; but do you REALLY REALLY want one of these people serving up your ‘fries & BigMac? (which is the only job they qualify for – if that)

  3. Worried says:

    Why didn’t the Police have the same aproach to regulating The Federal Reserve or Wall Street? Seems like the system cracks down on the little guy and let’s the corrupt big guys walk scot-free.

    1. Brian says:

      educate yourself work HARD and you wont have to worry about feeling like the little guy! at some point you have to stop acting like a child and grow up and take responsibility for your life If you try you might actually develop a new viewpoint on this issue

      1. frozenrunner says:

        From one who is in the upper part of the middle class.
        1. Get a clue to what they are protesting.
        2. Send out resumes listing only a college degree with student type and see what come back
        3. Send out resumes with a college degree, tons of experience in something like aerospace and see what you get
        4. See what job offers you get if you are over 50
        5. Go to any of the trades union halls and see what is out there for jobs.
        6. See that in this environment it is the top 1% get wealthier, not the hard working types

        1. Jake says:

          LOL. I know of 4 people who have found full time employment within the past year or so. No, they didn’t get a degree in underwater basketweaving or lab mouse psychology, but they got some schooling in an area where it would pay off someday. One found the best job that he’s had in YEARS, and he is 50 years old.
          A good WORK history, being drug and crime free, and not having your name all over the internet probably helped a lot, TOO. Were any of these jobs glamourous, 6 figure jobs? No, not by a long shot, but you have to start somewhere. I have far more respect for these people than the occupiers, who think that they can just shout and yell, and trash public property like a bunch of babies, hoping that the gov’t will give them what they want. The Constitution gives you the right to assemble and speak out, but it doesn’t guarantee you ANYTHING from gov’t, aside from your basic rights as stated.

          1. frozenrunner says:

            Your probably do not understand what it is like to be overqualified for a job. You know 4 people who found jobs, I know dozens who worked hard,, got good grades and have difficulty finding a job in their field. These are people with tecnical degrres and advanced technology degrees.

    2. desert eagle .50 says:

      If the execs of the banks and Fed were sleeping on the plaza they’d be treated the same. There are banking regulations, and they do not fall into the same category as enforcing the county’s winter restrictions.

      1. Ignorance is No Excuse says:

        Enforcing – more like Creating county restrictions ?!? – weird never heard that one before these peaceful protests.

        White collar crime occurs because there is little chance of being caught and many white collar criminals typically never have to face the consequences for their actions. White collar criminals are not treated equally, so they would most likely not be treated the same. Besides everyone knows they break laws indoors. IN THE SUITES…… If you seemed smarter I would ask you to read the book ” The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison”

        Your inability to spell executives and poor sentence structure has led me to believe you are not capable of that.

        Your name leads me to believe:

        1. your possibly a cop
        2. you wish you were a cop
        3. your in school to become a cop
        4. Your the reason we need to enforce stricter gun laws.

        1. desert eagle .50 says:

          FYI, it’s “you’re, not “your.”

          YOU’RE not the sharpest tool in the shed, but a tool nonetheless.

          Maybe you should read up on Tom Petters, Denny Hecker, and Bernie Madoff.

          1. hahahaha made ya mad copper says:

            Wow High profile cases that made the media

            GOOD job desert eagle

          2. Frankie says:

            And how much does not make the news. The old statistic was you had a 1 in 200 chance of being caught for a dui. If the same statistic is true for scammers, or even if they are 10 times better than that at catching scammers, think of the billions that are being defrauded

        2. Good Police Man says:

          Your words are more powerful ; )

          1. Good Police Man says:

            Ignorance of the law ; )

    3. Ignorance is No Excuse says:

      Totally true – White collar criminals should be the ones getting severely punished. After all their crimes cost us millions – yes, its true – they find a way to make their money back – typically through their customers, clients, or bankers.

      We need to hold these criminals accountable for their actions. Whether its harmful negligence and intentional harm.

      1. Volunteer says:

        I totally agree but usually only ignorant people add comments to websites like these. All the smart people are actually fighting for a cause.

    4. insignificant says:

      @worried…you got that right,eh?…the huge ponzi schemers that make Madoff look saintly appear to have bought out too many politicians and media sources…too many o’ these folks are gonna learn a tough lesson down the road ,as the money is devaluated…

  4. maxey says:

    Ben wants us to stop by so he can educate us about the wars and the corporations and such. How quaint.

  5. SamIam says:

    LAWFUL RIGHT TO PEACEABLY ASSEMBLE. In America alleged “land of the free” they have every right to be there. To argue otherwise is to argue against this country’s founding principles and shows the decay of our democracy. You don’t have to agree with their cause, but as an American I think your hypocrite to argue they don’t have a right to be there.

    1. Ignorance is No Excuse says:

      Thank you – you have shown me that some people aren’t completely blind when it comes to THEIR RIGHTS.

    2. dan says:


      Who says they dont have the right to protest and assemble? They just cant camp out overnight or leave their personal crud laying around. Who are they protesting at 2am anyways?

      1. Ignorance is No Excuse says:

        Principle – there not going anywhere until things change.

        Even the Nazi’s allowed the Jewish women to peacefully protest.

        Dan read the four word heading above your name.

        1. desert eagle .50 says:

          “There” should be “they’re.”

          “Nazi’s” should not be possessive, but “Nazis” plural.

          English 101 for non majors.

          1. Youlove Nazis says:

            So what now you ARE correcting everyone because what you said makes no sense?

            coming from the guy who learned this in 3rd grade – I agree good job Mr. Police Man

          2. insignificant says:

            @ desert…it’s still english …it’s still decipherable,eh?…you appear to be a part o’ that dumbed down multitude,worrying about a stupid comma placement,as the american middle class gets assaulted…wake up

            1. algol says:

              Actually, comma placement is important, as the inclusion or exclusion of a comma can change the demeanor, tone, and meaning of even the smallest phrase.

              In the same way a misspelled word makes it rather hard to decipher a well-meant retort.

              Personally I think I would find it rather difficult to feel insulted if I needed to spend more than sixty seconds re-reading one sentence.

              1. desert eagle .50 says:

                No, I’m not the grammar police, but when “Ignorance….” attacks my language skills in a post riddled with errors, I speak up.

                Doesn’t lend much credit to the message.

        2. dan says:

          Well, then they are in for a long winter. I guarantee you they wont make Jan 1st. Not sure what you are talking about a 4 word heading??

          1. I support the Protesters says:

            Funny, everyone was saying they wouldn’t make it past the first snow. I work for a living and I find it sickening that our constitutional rights in this country are constantly being eroded.

            1. dan says:

              Wonderful, you must have supported the Tea Party as well as they stand by the Constitution. funny, I have never heard the Constitiution brought up in any of the Occupy babbling. Its all about, its not fair, they make too much money, we dont have squat, blah, blah, blah

            2. Carl says:

              Having the 8th warmest November on record may have had something to do with that.

              1. Protest Global Warming says:

                You can credit the greedy corporate leaders with climate change too!

        3. algol says:

          “Even the Nazi’s allowed the Jewish women to peacefully protest.”

          Yet how many other Jewish people were tortured and killed by the Nazis?
          A pretty poor allusion to be making, sir.

    3. Dale Gribble says:

      They have no right to be there. They are traitors who have forfeited their rights. All they deserve is a quick execution after they’ve been offered last rites, which they’ll refuse because they are all atheists. The police should shoot to kill and end this menace. Their families should be arrested and their property seized.

      1. SamIam says:

        So just to verify, you think everyone that doesn’t agree with you should be executed… their families arrested… and property seized… I honestly hope you’re a 12 year old playing on your mother’s computer. Otherwise I may have just lost faith in humanity. I noticed you took your name from a paranoid redneck character from “King of the Hill”, as such I must conclude you must take pride in being a paranoid redneck. Thank you for reminding me that such bigotry and hatemongering exists in the world.

    4. :) says:

      Keyword: Peacefully. If they are breaking laws then its no longer considered a peaceful assembly and they then lose their right to assemble. How can it be any more simple then that.

      1. algol says:

        I agree. The laws are in place to ensure their safety and the safety of everyone else. As the cliché goes: Your right to swing your fist around ends where my face begins.

        Though it should not be about how far people can stretch their rights. It should be about consideration about the rights of the other person.

        In fact, if there existed a positive consideration of others, then OWS and its counterparts would not exist. There will always be a wealthy one percent, as there always has been. Most of the founders of our country were among the one percent. That’s history for you. What doesn’t have to exist is the lack of consideration from the present day one percent for the ninety-nine.

  6. Concerned Citizen says:

    He she hang out with desert eagle. maybe he will accidentally shoot him


  7. Concerned Citizen says:

    should damn hicks are getting to me

  8. Dont life Hicks Either says:

    Right, just the fact that he felt he had to title himself as Desert Eagle .50 is hilarious! HAHAHAHAHA you made my day!

    Its You’re not Your. As if you are a publisher or something…….

    1. I support the Protesters says:

      Desert Eagke ,50 ? Sounds like someone is trying to overcompensate for something they may be lacking in…

      1. doesnt matter says:

        lmbo that would explain the job

  9. Dont LIFE I mean LIKE haha says:

    Or should I say You’re

  10. Hehe says:

    I’m just waiting for this Gun toting fool to correct all the other mistakes on this page.

    Maybe he went to the gun range. He should probably go to the gun range.

    1. desert eagle .50 says:

      Went to the pistol range last weekend. Reloading this weekend.

      Keep up…If you want to correct my grammar don’t make errors in your posts.

      Oh BTW it’s “Eagle” not “Eagke.”

      If you don’t like it, post your retromingent drivel somewhere else; do us all a favor.

  11. The Angry Walrus says:

    No one is saying these people can’t protest. They have every right to protest anywhere and at any time. The restriction is on sleeping, putting up tents and leaving their garbage laying around.

    People, please pay attention. If they want to maintain a presence in the plaza 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, they absolutely can. they have to be smart about it, protest in shifts…GO HOME when you are done with your shift, get some sleep, then come back and replace someone else. They just can’t sleep there. How do you protest while you are sleeping?

  12. The Angry Walrus says:

    And please ignore Dale Gribble, he is either, as one of you mentioned, a kid playing on moms computer, or a left wing loonie acting as a crazy redneck in an effort to try to make conservatives look bad. He is an idiot either way.

    1. Frankie says:

      Someone called mark from mntaxwaste used to post similar. type statements I am surprised that Jake or Kevin have not weighed in with their usual hatred and promoting violence towards the OWS types. Those two would be proof some of the righties do not look beyond their viewpoint to see what they are actually promoting. Gribble could be easily fall into that category. Desert eagle was never called stupid. Again, twisting. If you were smarter is a dig,but is not calling them stupid or moronic. If you were smarter you might realize that.

      1. The Angry Walrus says:

        wow…Frankie- someone as smart as you should be able to realize an insult when you see one. Saying “if you were smarter” IS the same as calling them stupid. If you were smarter you would realize that.

        I’ll be the first to tell you that there are a lot of people on the right side of the political spectrum that are hateful, shortsighted and ignorant. And you are right, Gribble could absolutey be who he comes of as…a crazy right wing, religious nut job with no real idea what is going on. BUT, the left has their fair share of loonies too. Most people here fall somewhere in the middle. The unfortunate part, is that the voices of those in the middle are softened and quieted because we all get caught up in the extremes on both sides.

        1. Frankie says:

          There are some people who post moronic comments, there are some people who post comments with a lack of knowledge. There is a difference. There are left wingers who post some stuff that is out there, but none calling for violence that the right wingers on this board do

    2. Dale Gribble says:

      You’re a disgrace to your own nation, Walrus. Why you won’t stand up for White, Christian America is beyond me. The OWS socialist criminals must be silenced before they are able to convince the UN to declare martial aw because of “human rights violations.” you are playing right into Obama’s trap by supporting them

      1. The Angry Walrus says:

        @ Dale- MAYBE I am not a white christian. Maybe I am. It doesn’t really make a difference.

        Why won’t you stand up for the Constitution?

  13. The Angry Walrus says:

    And, to be fair, the only reason desert eagle was correcting people, was because “ignorance is no excuse” called him stupid and corrected his original post.

  14. Murph says:

    The dude in the pic still has his coat and jeans doesn’t he! That’s more than the GOP will let you keep once they take over in 2012! If you are dumb enough to vote for them!

    1. :) says:

      Oh yeah, because the GOP just wants to take away all your rights and make government control everything?? LMAO What a pantywaste you are, how can we expect anything else from someone who goes by Murph.

      1. A Voter says:

        @ 🙂 The republicans have alway been critical of communism, but everything they advocate is based on communism. We are only a breath away from the military taking over complete control of this country. Corporations have been sending their work, and our jobs to communist countries for years.
        Communist countries are controlled by the government.
        Socialist countries are controlled by the people.
        Capitalist countries are controlled by the corporations.
        US citizens don’t know who’s in control, but they about to find out.

  15. :) says:

    And they are going to protest at a foreclosed home?? LMAO I hope its in a “good part” of north Minneapolis and I hope the locals give them a real nice welcome…..

  16. Jake says:

    The occupy’s credo: Me me Me me ME ME ME.

  17. Rasputin says:

    There are 12 people trying to occupy the plaza…. Let’s even say if there were 1000. There are just over 5.2 million people in the state of MN. You are far from the 99%. You aren’t even 1%.

    Go back to mommy and daddy’s basement and do something, like find a job. You don’t get a participation trophy for this one LOL…..

  18. Blue Nipples says:

    Gee! its no wonder they have imposed cold weather restrictions after being stripped of everything, with only signs to keep them warm.

  19. Kevin says:

    Ok…at least one of them is speaking now. They are against the War, Corporations, and Corrupt Government. I to question the War, love the soldiers, but Iraq…really? Corporations…yup they run the government….and the upper management are paid 100 times what the average Joe is paid. Yup….they are evil…….and corrupt government…..well as Bill Clinton said…..hunny can you move a little to the left….I dont want this to hit the Oval Office desk……I guess I agree with them so far. But I am to smart to be outside holding signs in MN during the winter….I like my walnuts where they hang and dont want them freezing off……

  20. molly says:

    Put those self-entitled pricks in jail!

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