Six months after their campout in front of City Hall began, Occupy Minneapolis protestors plan to reoccupy the city on Saturday, April 7. This time, they’ll pitch tents at two locations — Peavey Plaza on Nicolet Mall in downtown Minneapolis, and in Loring Park south of downtown. After they set camp, the demonstrators will march to the home of U.S. Bank CEO Richard Davis.
Occupy Minneapolis activists Ben Egerman and Sam Richards held a press conference at Peavey Plaza Wednesday to outline their plans. They insisted that the re-occupation of Minneapolis is necessary because “things are much as they were in the fall. In the last six months the need for a more equitable and just society hasn’t disappeared. People are still being foreclosed upon and thrown out of their homes.”
They hope that over 100 occupiers will join them at the two locations this spring and summer and that the Minneapolis Police Department will not kick them out. An ordinance currently states that Loring Park is closed between midnight and 6 a.m.
“We’ve seen government and police use extreme force against occupy protests in the past,” said Egerman. “They’re gearing up to do the exact same — preemptively citing park hours as a way to infringe upon our free speech rights. We know that the right to free assembly does not end at midnight, and we plan on exercising those free speech rights just as we would anywhere else. We’re talking about public parks: they should be for people to use.”
Egerman added that the mild weather this spring should offer the Occupy movement an advantage.
“Unlike in the fall, when it was clear that it would become uncomfortable to be outside, there’s no real short-term expiration date on this protest. Hopefully we’ll be able to set up, camp and throughout the spring and summer, people can come down and we can build from there.”