Transparent Tents Have Short Life At OccupyMN

The tents were more transparent than an insider trade on Wall Street, but that wasn’t good enough for sheriff’s deputies as they swept away the shelters at OccupyMN.

OccupyMn organizers produced a set of transparent vinyl tents for the overnight occupiers at The People’s Plaza (formerly Hennepin County Government Center). Those staying overnight have been sleeping in sleeping bags under the stars and rain in the park on the south side of the building. Allowing overnighters was one agreement in the often uneasy relationship between the authorities and the occupiers. One of the Sheriff’s objection to tents was that deputies and the police could not see what was going on in the tents. The county did erect an open tent on the grass which was used by a few.

Trespassing charge the only small blemish on a very peaceful protest.

The solution presented by OccupyMN was transparent vinyl tents. The tents were demonstrated on the plaza than marched to the park on the south side of the Government Center. A group of supporters who had volunteered to be arrested if necessary as n act of non-violent civil dissemblance joined arms, circled the tents and sat on the ground. Medics were inside the circle to deal with any medical issues. A few building security people and sheriff’s deputies cautiously circled the encampment.

One woman was arrested on the sidewalk for alleged trespassing. The arrest and conveyance into the basement of the Government Center was accompanied by loud jeering and protests. She was later released.

At about 7:00 PM an announcement was made that the police were coming in 5 minutes to disband the camp. No authorities showed up at the designated moment. However, sheriff’s deputies did visit the camp at 1:00 AM the next morning and removed all the tents. There were complaints of loss of personal property during the raid.

Bill Sorem

Bill Sorem is a longtime advertising professional who started with Campbell Mithun and ended up with his own agency. After a tour as a sailing fleet manager in the Virgin Islands he turned to database programming as an independent consultant. He has written sailing guides for the British Virgin Islands and Belize, and written for a number of blogs. In 2010, he volunteered as a citizen journalist with The UpTake and has stayed on as a video reporter.

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