Occupy MN will defy sheriff's orders, set up tent camp on Saturday

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these occupiers.
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these occupiers.

Occupy MN organizers announced this morning that contrary to the agreement they had with the Hennepin County Sheriff's Department, they will begin erecting tents and shelters tomorrow afternoon in the Government Plaza.

This would be the first openly defiant act by the group, which has thus far maintained a very cordial relationship with law enforcement.

Robert Jones is ready to protest, rain or shine.
Robert Jones is ready to protest, rain or shine.

Today marks the one-week anniversary of the Occupy MN demonstration in the downtown government plaza. Protesters have been camped out there each night, holding meetings and demonstrations during the day, in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street campaign in New York.

After unseasonably gorgeous weather at the outset, things took a turn for the worse this week. Occupy MNsters had to deal with torrential rain, hail and some seriously strong winds. On Wednesday night, about 60 protesters retreated from the grassy knolls and public benches to the skyway underpass, which previously had been designated off-limits by the sheriff, according to Occupy MN organizer Alexa Lindh.

"It would probably have seemed cruel not to let us," she says.

But the occupiers are still banned from holding their tarps up with anything but their hands. In an announcement on the Occupy MN Facebook page, organizers declared that as the weather gets colder they will no longer honor this agreement with the sheriff.

"Just like food and water, we believe that shelter is a basic human right," it reads.

The rally to set up tents will take place tomorrow at 4 p.m., and in the meantime organizers are delivering their last pleas for a sanctioned tent city to the sheriff, the Minneapolis police department, and county administrator Richard Johnson.

Although a medic in the plaza named only "Flamingo" says none of the occupiers have caught cold yet, the Minnesota Department of Health just confirmed the season's first case of flu. End the Sudafed!

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