Occupy Minnesota protesters showed their wounds and vented their anger Monday over what they say was a police “ambush” of a peaceful Easter eve protest. They are asking Minneapolis Mayor R.T Rybak to order police to stand down. The Mayor has agreed to meet with them Tuesday at 1pm.
Saturday night, police arrested 12 activists and detained them until 4 a.m. The arrest happened after the occupiers left downtown Peavey Plaza with their tents in tow. This video released by Occupy MN shows the police using horses to tame the crowd and pinning demonstrators to the sidewalk. During the arrests, a KSTP cameraman was assaulted by an officer. The Occupy activists had chosen April 7 to set up a presence in Loring Park and Peavey Plaza because that was the six-month anniversary of their encampment in front of City Hall.
“The attack was completely uncalled for and unnecessary, and I think Mayor Rybak needs to order his police to stand down and let us have our constitutional rights,” said Occupy activist Sam Richards, who was among the dozen arrested.
The group is calling attention to how the economic cards are now stacked against most of us because a record amount of wealth is now concentrated the hands of just one percent of the population.
About 100 protestors, including those arrested, met at City Hall Monday to demonstrate in opposition to the arrests before moving to Rybak’s office. The group demanded a meeting with the mayor, who they were informed was not in the office. The Mayor’s staff threatened to remove them with security forces, but the presence of six media video camera may have acted as a restraining influence. Finally, a representative of the mayor allowed two activists to meet with his staff. About 15 minutes later the representatives returned with an agreement that the mayor would meet with them today at 1 p.m.
“This is a clear cut case of police brutality; this is something that isn’t new,” said an African-American activist who goes by the name ‘D’. “For many of us around the country, this is something that happens every single day. The police, the government, the corporations will try to paint us as petty thugs, people that don’t know what they’re standing for. No, these are people that see that this system is failing us.”