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Local Rapper Brother Ali Arrested At Occupy Protest

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(credit: Hennepin County Jail)

(credit: Hennepin County Jail)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Twin Cities rapper Brother Ali was among the protesters arrested Thursday evening at an Occupy Homes MN rally in Minneapolis.

Brother Ali, whose full name is Ali Douglas Newman, was one of 13 reportedly arrested at the Cruz family’s home on the 4000 block of Cedar Avenue in south Minneapolis.

On Friday morning, Brother Ali tweeted: “Just got home from jail. 13 of us arrested showing solidarity with the Cruz family and Occupy Homes worldwide. The struggle continues.”

Brother Ali was arrested on charges of trespassing and refusing to depart. His $50 was posted about four hours after he was processed at Hennepin County Jail.

Brother Ali, 34, has released four studio albums. His latest release — 2009’s “Us” — reached #14 on Billboard’s rap album’s charts.

There have been a number of protest rallies staged at the home intending to prevent the family’s eviction after their home was foreclosed on. According to protesters, the Cruz home went into foreclosure in 2011, when the mortgage’s original holder, PNC Bank, didn’t accept an online mortgage payment. As punishment, the bank imposed a fine of two months payment. The family was unable to pay; thus the home went into foreclosure.

Authorities were ordered by the court to evict the home of its residents on April 26. Authorities first tried to perform an eviction on May 23, but they were met by large number of protesters. They tried again in the early hours of May 25, but protesters had tied themselves together and to the home. Police arrested five protesters that morning, but failed to take the home. There have been more arrests at the home since, including the 13 reported to have been arrested Thursday.

A spokesperson for the Occupy Homes MN movement said Freddie Mac currently holds the Cruz family’s mortgage and requested the eviction. However, protesters have been in negotiations with PNC Bank, trying to work about a deal to keep the Cruz family in the home.

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