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Protesters Still Occupying S. Mpls Home, Even After Arrests

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(credit: Occupy Homes MN)

(credit: Occupy Homes MN)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Occupy protesters say they celebrated Friday evening after thwarting the attempts of authorities to evict a south Minneapolis home.

Protester Nick Espinosa said Occupy Homes MN protesters are still occupying the Cruz family home, located on the 4000 block of Cedar Avenue South, and negotiating with the family’s bank, PNC.

This celebration comes after the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office made two attempts to evict protesters from the home. One attempt, which happened around 4 a.m. Friday morning, ended with five protesters being arrested.

Police said they arrested the five for failing to leave the house, which protesters anchored themselves to by means of a “sleeping dragon” – a device which is made of chains, PVC pipe, iron pipe, concrete, and duct tape.

When police made the arrests, they broke down a door, which was used hours later by protesters who brought it to the sheriff’s office, Espinosa said. The Cruz family, along with 75 protesters, demonstrated by “redecorating” the sheriff’s office with sticky notes.

Espinosa said the family wants an explanation as to why authorities want the house evicted, even though protesters are negotiating with the family’s bank.

Protesters also said that the five who were arrested Friday would be released that evening on $100 bail. “Massive public pressure,” Espinosa said, is the reason for the quick release.

As of 9:40 p.m. Friday, the five arrested were released, according to the Occupy MN Facebook page.

Initially, however, protesters said police told them the five would be released on Tuesday.

On April 26, Hennepin County District Court ordered the eviction of the Cruz house. Authorities first attempted to evict the house on Wednesday, but when they arrived at the house that afternoon, they found a large group of protesters who refused to leave. Thus, they rescheduled the eviction attempt.

Protesters recorded video of both eviction attempts.

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