Reporting Reg Chapman
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Occupy Minnesota did not occupy anywhere Sunday night.
The group’s plans changed after Saturday night’s arrests and near-chaos.
On Sunday, a group of occupiers returned to the site where 12 of their own were arrested. They have no plans to occupy Peavey Plaza now.
“We need to find a place where we can express ourselves and not have to fear police violence,” said occupier Osha Karow.
Video taken by one of the occupiers shows the clash between protesters and police.
Occupiers say police used excessive force; police say they were doing their job in keeping the streets free of obstruction.
One photojournalist from KSTP got a first-hand look at what happened. The video shows how his camera took a beating at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.
The Minneapolis Police Department released a statement saying: “We are reviewing and have an open investigation. The MPD will not support unjustified usage of force.”
It all began Saturday night after police read a city ordinance to occupiers, telling them they could not interfere or block the right of way.
Prior to the occupation, there was no mention of this ordinance, protesters said. And when police brought it forward at about 2 p.m., the lieutenant and sergeant that were delivering the message said it came from the Mayor’s Office.
Protesters said the city attorney was the one who found the law and was telling the police to enforce it.
A spokesman for the Mayor R.T. Rybak said the city ordinance prohibits tents as housing on public or private property. Occupiers said that when they were moved, no one was inside the tents.
The group was walking the tents down Nicollet Mall when 12 people were arrested. Occupy MN will gather at the People’s Plaza/ Courthouse Square Monday at 1:30 p.m.
They will march on the mayor’s office after that, hoping to find a space they can occupy without fear of arrests.