UMN Solidarity group occupies campus building to protest just about everything

A group of University of Minnesota students and community members has been holing up in a campus building all week, and say they won't leave until their demands are met.

As for those demands, the key gripe here seems to be tuition costs, which could increase by 2 percent next year at the U of M.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg.

On top of a tuition freeze, the protesters want equal treatment for student groups, and the manner in which Regents are elected to be completely restructured. They'd like for the lowest-paid employees at the U to get raises, for the highest-paid to take cuts, and better treatment for Jimmy John's employees. They're also standing up for worker rights in Wisconsin, Egypt, Tunisia, and a bunch of other places.

Just throw a little world peace in there, and they'll be out of your hair.

"We're a very apathetic university and generation, and people don't really pay attention to these issues," says Hallie Goldman, a member of UMN Solidarity.

The group is holding the occupation in the lobby of the Social Sciences Building, a public space on the West Bank of campus. Goldman says they aren't going the route of making a mess or being disrespectful, but instead simply spreading their message to anyone who will listen.

The occupation began Monday with about 50 people, says Goldman, though campus police would only allow 12 to say overnight. Since then, protesters have been coming and going between classes and work.

Providing the U of M doesn't cave, Goldman says she's not sure how long they'll stay cooped in the campus building.

"The only thing that they could do that could make us leave is to have all of our demands met right away, but we know that's not gonna happen," she says.

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