OccupyMN defies Hennepin Co. sign request, expands sightsby Sasha Aslanian, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — OccupyMN protestors in downtown Minneapolis are defying Hennepin County's requests to remove signs taped to government property so the county can winterize the plaza.
Kirk Simmons, security manager for Hennepin County said protestors did agree to move their belongings so the county can flush out the sprinkler system, and agreed not to leave their possessions unattended.
"We've provided power for the protestors, we've provided water. We've been able to let them facilitate having the restrooms, portable restrooms out here. We've made every reasonable accommodation as we can," he said. "But you know, upstairs is also getting a lot of phone calls. People getting off the light rail are concerned about having to walk through this occupation. How do you try to keep everybody happy?"
Protestors say it's their right to keep signs taped to the plaza. The county has not ticketed any of the estimated 40 protestors out Friday or made any arrests.
The county has also said protestors can't sleep out once it gets colder than 25 degrees due to liability.
Protestor Nick Espinosa said the occupation will branch out past the plaza:
"We're expanding the occupation into a home that's currently being foreclosed upon and we're planning on staying with that homeowner and defending that family from eviction," he said. "We're demanding that banks negotiate with homeowners, help people find a way to stay in their homes and we want a moratorium until they do that."
The home is located in north Minneapolis.