Reporting Bill Hudson
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Nicollet Mall was a sea of loud protesters and police as the Occupy Minnesota movement took part in May Day activities on Tuesday.
A couple hundred people marched to beating drums and bull horns from Loring Park to the heart of downtown Minneapolis.
The lunchtime crowd saw protesters chant against foreclosures, greed and anti-union practices. Minneapolis Police kept a close watch on the march, but there was no trouble.
After that large march downtown Occupy protesters broke into smaller groups and planned to reunite at Powderhorn Park over the dinner hour.
Earlier in the afternoon, protesters brought their anti-big business message to the heart of downtown. They carried hand-made signs railing against things like foreclosure, taxing the rich and help for immigrants. The group then made its way to the U.S Bank building.
But is their message getting through? Depends on who you talk to.
“I think it is because Bank of America is modifying my home loan after not talking to me, declining me. They’re modifying it because of this movement,” said protester Frank Clark.
“Talk to anybody on the square here and nobody knows what they’re all about or standing for or accomplish. So it’s interesting, it’s good entertainment,” said Jeremy Johnson, who observed Tuesday’s protest downtown.
The noontime march was the big one Tuesday. Later in the afternoon, they broke into smaller groups to march for both immigrant rights and for service employees international union workers.
Police said the protesting was extremely loud so far, but peaceful. Had there been trouble, an overwhelming police presence on horses, bikes and dozens of squads would have got to it quickly.