Occupy MN dwindles but lives on

Hundreds of protesters in varying stages of undress are still out there.
Hundreds of protesters in varying stages of undress are still out there.

Occupy MN has yet to shake the economic and government structures at which its protest is aimed. But, to its credit, it hasn't gotten bored or hungry and gone home yet.

The local chapter of the anti-bank, anti-bomb protests which started popping up all over the country last week passed through the weekend without serious incident. Not a single arrest has been made related to the downtown rally.

Now, at the dawn of day 4, something around 100 diehards -- more, depending on who you ask -- are still at the Hennepin County Government Center Plaza, or "People's Plaza," as they're calling it. They're waking up to a bit more trash and a bit less attention than they'd hoped for. Since the excitement of the protest's first day, local media have typically portrayed Occupy MN as the pointless pursuit of the sign-making counterculture.

To be fair, Occupy MN's shrinking turnout hasn't helped its case.

Something like 1,000 protesters -- including Jesse Ventura, former heavyweight champion of American governors -- turned up for Friday's opening day festivities. On Friday afternoon, a couple hundred of them marched to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, where they banged on drums and moved in a rhythmic way that surely unnerved the bankers.

Yes, but can New York hear you?--Even over the traffic?
Yes, but can New York hear you?--Even over the traffic?

As of this morning, it seems it would be hard for the remaining protesters to muster even that much of a demonstration. Organizer and spokesman Osha Karow told the Star Tribune that Occupy MN's population dropped off to around 600 on Saturday, and hit 350 yesterday. In response, the Strib gave the movement a pittance of coverage: Occupy MN got exactly five paragraphs, totaling seven sentences.

Overnight, by KSTP's count, the number of remaining stragglers has sunk to something like 100 people in sleeping bags.

But, good news: For those of you who had something holding you back, there's plenty of time to join them: KSTP also reports that some of those still in attendance have said they'll stay "through the new year," which would bring the demonstration close to 90 days... and negative-20 degrees.

Yesterday, a posting to the Occupy MN Facebook page complained of sloppiness in the sign-making area, leaving too much clean-up for the group's own "sanitation committee." Aside from sign-making and chanting, there are also teach-ins, with one planned for today on solar energy.

Tomorrow, KSTP reports, they'll finally get back to heckling the rich, with protesters planning to march on local banks.


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