Jesse Ventura joins kick-off of Occupy MN [VIDEO]
The occupation of the Hennepin County Government Center Plaza has begun and one of the first people on the scene was former Governor Jesse Ventura.
Amid the earliest few dozen occupiers setting up their tables and camps, Ventura held court amid a gaggle of media and fans to make a brief statement about why he's decided to join Occupy MN, and stir up a little trouble.
"I had to put a political face on this movement," he told Occupy MN organizers.
Like similar demonstrations in Chicago and Seattle, Occupy MN is a solidarity campaign with Occupy Wall Street, the massive street protest going on in New York City. The original posting to the Occupy MN website praises the New York protesters for "demonstrating against corporate greed and the injustices that we face as the 99%," referring to the 99 percent of people they claim are ruled by the other 1 percent.
Protestors are already converging now to set up and at 5 p.m. there will be an official kick-off rally. At 7 p.m. the first meeting of the Occupy MN general assembly will take place. Occupiers say they will stay in the plaza until the demands of Occupy Wall Street are met, which could be as short as a few days or as long as several weeks.
Ventura announced yesterday on his official Facebook page that he would be making an appearance at the plaza. He did not disappoint, arriving in a baseball cap and windbreaker, silver mullet blowing majestically in the wind. He said he heard about the event from his son and decided he had to come down.
"This is a movement that I think needs to happen," he boomed to event organizers. "It's a movement that can't be highjacked by the Democratic or the Republican party, which will happen. They will try to."
He went on to offer his services as the new face of Occupy MN, saying he's the only politician who didn't take PAC or corporate money during his successful 1998 gubernatorial campaign.
"We have a system of Democrats and Republicans who have sold out to bribery," he said.
Always the conspiracy theorist, as he walked away he tried to shoo Occupy MN people away from someone he kept describing as a media "plant," to disrupt the day's events. Unclear what he meant by that.
Watch Ventura's entire early statement below:
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.