ACLU Asks Hennepin County to Rescind Restrictions on Occupy MN

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Transparent tents at Occupy MN

Click picture to watch video of tent set up at occupy minnesota

Click picture to watch video of tent set up at occupy minnesota

Cold weather shouldn’t affect First Amendment rights. That’s essentially what the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Minnesota told Hennepin County in a letter today asking the County to rescind the new restrictions placed on OccupyMN protests who are currently in the Hennepin County Government Center Plaza. The ACLU says the restrictions appear to be “ad-hoc” and created specifically in response to the OccupyMN protest.

“We are troubled by the new restrictions that Hennepin County is imposing,” said Charles Samuelson, “Hennepin County is placing unfair restrictions on OccupyMN in an effort to silence their voice.”

The new restrictions that the County unveiled in a memo yesterday include: prohibiting the placement and affixation of signs; barring protestors from sleeping overnight on the plaza with the first prediction of snowfall or temperatures below 25 degrees; consolidating their possessions; and prohibiting unattended items on the plaza, The ACLU of Minnesota believes that these new restrictions violate the First Amendment.

View the ACLU’s letter here: ACLU-HennepinCountyLetter

Jacob Wheeler

In addition to shooting videos for The UpTake, Jacob Wheeler is a contributing editor at the progressive political magazine In These Times, publishes the Glen Arbor Sun in his native Michigan, and authored "Between Light and Shadow," a recent book about the Guatemalan adoption industry. Wheeler's stories have appeared in such magazines as the Utne Reader, Earth Island Journal, Rotarian and Teaching Tolerance magazine, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor. He speaks fluent Spanish, German and Danish.

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