Protesters Leave Plaza After Police Cite Public Nuisance Law
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Occupy Minneapolis protesters left Peavey Plaza with tents and signs in hand after a brief, verbal confrontation with police Saturday night. But they came back.
The protesters left the downtown Minneapolis plaza around 8:30 p.m. after police said they were going to evict protesters, citing a public nuisance ordinance. Lt. Dean Christensen read the law on a megaphone, but the protesters drowned out the reading with chants and shouts.
Police said they are evicting the protesters because they are obstructing ways into the plaza and the Minnesota Orchestra.
On the Occupy Minnesota Facebook page, the protesters said they saw the law as a clear attempt to suppress their First Amendment rights.
Police arrested at least one protester.
When they left the plaza, the protesters picked up their tents without breaking them down and walked to Loring Park, where another group of protesters has gathered in hopes of occupying the park all summer.
As the protesters walked down Nicollet Mall, they chanted: “No justice, no peace, we’re taking it to the streets.”
Police set up a mobile command station along 11th Street.
The protesters returned to Peavey Plaza around 10:30 p.m. They came with tents in hand. Police said they would not interfere with the protesters’ right to assemble as long as they do not set up the tents.
They night appears ripe for conflict, as the protesters tweeted that they want to retake the plaza. “Give us the Plaza, you can have the streets,” they said.
The protesters also tweeted at Minneapolis police saying: “Gonna give us the plaza, or are we going to march all night?”
At 10:55, the protesters said they were on the move again. They tweeted: “Crowd drowning out MPD eviction announcement, headed back to the streets….Whose streets? OUR STREETS”