OccupyMN threatened by county government, sheriff
Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Twin Cities-based Anti-War Committee on the threat by county officials to shut down OccupyMN. On Nov. 8 the Hennepin County Board voted to place severe restrictions on the encampment at People's Plaza, which are slated to go into effect Nov. 14. In addition, Hennepin County Sheriff Rick Stanek has waged a media campaign aimed at discrediting the occupation.
Stanek, a Republican, is well known for his racist views, which include using the n-word to refer to African Americans. He has also taken steps to draw the sheriff’s department into Homeland Security’s repressive ‘anti-terrorism’ programs.
We encourage all our readers to circulate the following statement:
Anti-War Committee Stands in Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, Minneapolis
County / Sheriff Hands Off People’s Plaza!
Starting with New York City, and spreading to more than a thousand cities in the US and across the globe, the Occupy Wall Street movement has given voice to the majority of people, who are suffering from an ever-deepening economic crisis here at home, and endless war abroad. Minnesota has joined this movement in saying it’s time to put people over profits, and several occupations have started here, including one in downtown Minneapolis.
Since October 7, thousands of Minnesotans have occupied the People’s Plaza, outside the Hennepin County Government Center, maintaining a presence day and night to demonstrate against corporate greed and political corruption.
The Anti-War Committee has been a part of Occupy Minneapolis since the beginning, because we too are a part of the 99%. We understand that corporate control of resources in other countries is one of the driving reasons that the U.S. goes to war, and we will not pay with our tax dollars or our lives to further the profits of a few while so many suffer. At the occupation, we have rallied and marched, attended teach-ins, shared meals, participated in general assembly meetings and slept out on the plaza with no shelter.
County officials have restricted the rights of Occupy Minneapolis from the very first day. Claiming that it is for the safety of the protesters, we were denied the right to set up tents, or any kind of structure, to provide shelter from the cold and rain (even though many other occupations have tents). Yesterday, Hennepin County Commissioners voted for a plan to shut down the People’s Plaza on November 14th: All protest signs must be taken down and no one will be allowed to sleep at the Plaza.
Commissioners have cited the cold weather, but if they were concerned about the health and well being of the protesters they would lift the restrictions on shelter, not evict us. We know that this is an attempt to end the occupation they wish had never begun, and we condemn all threats to evict Occupy Minneapolis!
In the name of the 99%, we support the rights of the occupiers, and demand the right to continue a round-the-clock presence at the People’s Plaza. We call on all people of conscience to take concrete actions to defend Occupy Minneapolis. This includes contacting County Commissioners to demand they allow the occupation to continue without interruption. If the county moves to evict us from the People’s Plaza on Monday, November 14th, we call on all people of conscience to mobilize to the Plaza, and stand in solidarity with the 99%.
Please call the Hennepin County Commissioners and Sheriff Stanek. Let them know this is an unacceptable denial of our constitutional right to assemble!
Sheriff Rich Stanek: (612) 348-3744 and [email protected]
Mike Opat, chair: 612-348-7881
Mark Stenglein: 612-348-7882
Gail Dorfman: 612-348-7883
Peter McLaughlin: 612-348-7884
Randy Johnson: 612-348-7885
Jan Callison: 612-348-7886
Jeff Johnson: 612-348-7887
General information: 612-348-3000