OccupyMN

OCCUPY MINNESOTA

THE ONLINE HOME OF THE MINNESOTA MOVEMENT 

THE MOVEMENT LIVES

The Occupy Movement is a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants.

OccupyMN.org was the first website of the Occupy Movement in the state of Minnesota. Our goal is to provide an accurate reflection of the Occupy Movement and to also provide solidarity & support to the Global Revolution.

ABOUT OCCUPYMN

The Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

This document was accepted by the NYC General Assembly on September 29, 2011

Translations: French, Slovak, Spanish, German, Italian, Arabic, Portuguese [all translations »]


As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

 

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

 

  • They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
  • They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
  • They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
  • They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
  • They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.
  • They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
  • They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.
  • They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.
  • They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.
  • They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
  • They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
  • They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.
  • They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
  • They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.
  • They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.
  • They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
  • They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit.
  • They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.
  • They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
  • They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.
  • They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.
  • They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.
  • They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.*

 

To the people of the world,

 

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

 

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

 

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

 

Join us and make your voices heard!

 

*These grievances are not all-inclusive.

OccupyMN Corporate Personhood Resolution

Resolved. That the General Assembly of OccupyMN orders that Congress introduce an amendment to the United States Constitution to end corporate personhood, effectively stating that “corporations are not people and money is not speech.

OccupyMN Resources

The Occupy Movement is an expansive network of individuals and groups working together to fight for economic justice in the face of rampant criminality on Wall Street and a government controlled by monied interests. We, “the 99%”, are trying to wrestle government control out the hands of the “1%”. OccupyMN is a people’s movement. It is leaderless and party-less by design. It is not a business, a political party, an advertising campaign or a brand. It is not for sale.

The following is a list of resources and links to active campaigns within the Occupy Movement:

OccupyMN Resources:

Minnesota Autonomous Efforts:

National Autonomous Efforts:

 

*This list is not all-inclusive and is updated periodically.

OccupyMN Statement of Unity

The OccupyMN Statement of Unity was passed through consensus on October 22, 2011 at The People’s Plaza in Minneapolis. It provides a broad view of the long-term goals of OccupyMN and occupiers alike.

 

We are creating a global sustainable community that values the health of the Earth and its inhabitants over corporate profits.

We are a diverse group of people and we find strength in that diversity. No one person or group speaks for all of us as a whole. We wish to see an end to the corruption of both corporations and government. We will persist until the voices of the people overcome the corrupting influence of money.

OWS Community Agreement

Proposed to OWS Spokes Council by Safer Spaces Work Group revised as of 02.20.12; to be made available in multiple languages.

 

I. Statement of Intention on Entering the Space

I enter each OWS space with a commitment to:

 

  • mutual respect and support
  • anti-oppression
  • conflict resolution
  • nonviolence
  • direct democracy

 

I:

  1. support the empowerment of each person to challenge the histories and structures of oppression that marginalize some, and divide us all . These may include racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, transphobia, xenophobia, religious discrimination, ageism, and ableism, among others.
  2. commit to learning about different forms of oppression.
  3. understand individual freedoms are not above our collective safety, well-being, and ability to function cooperatively; individual freedom without responsibility to the community is not the OWS way.
  4. accept the decision of the community if I am not able to follow the agreements below.

 

II. AGREEMENTS

A. Commitment to Accessibility, Consent and Anti-Oppression

We will:

 

  1. provide physical and language access to OWS spaces, and make resources equally available to all.
  2. not use physical or verbal violence or threats.
  3. get clear permission before touching other people or using their things.
  4. not use substances in our spaces that may attract the police and cause harm to our community.
  5. acknowledge that some people in our community are more vulnerable to police or hospital interaction*, and accept that calling the police or an ambulance is a decision to be made by the person most affected; this does not apply when someone is in critical condition or unable to give permission.
  6. respect each person’s expressed name and identities and their choice of whether to share that information. We will do our best not to make assumptions about identity–race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, abilities, or class, among others–based on a person’s appearance.
  7. be aware of how prejudice and structures of oppression affect our speech and actions, including the ways power and privilege are related to race, gender, physical ability, immigration status, wealth, and/or sexuality, among other identities.
  8. show compassion and respect to our comrades, especially those who have experienced trauma, abuse, or oppression. We will not shout people down, dismiss oppression, or engage in other dominating or aggressive behavior.
  9. respect diverse styles of speaking, learning, and interacting that may not align with the dominant culture and make space for all to communicate.
  10. acknowledge that each person comes to our space with different experiences. So while we may not intend to hurt other people by our words or actions, this can still happen. We agree that it’s an act of solidarity to listen and not reply right away when a person or group of people say they feel oppressed by our words or actions.
  11. not tolerate police informants who intend to undermine OWS goals, and we will not accuse others of informing or otherwise working for law enforcement agencies to undermine OWS without concrete evidence.

 

* because of race, documentation status, immigration status, gender, economic situation, age, criminal justice or medical history, and experience of police violence.

 

B. Commitment to Conflict Resolution & Accountability

We will:

 

  1. do our best to hold ourselves and each other accountable to these agreements.
  2. express concerns about violations based on how they affect us or others, without judgment of intent.
  3. participate in a conflict resolution process when asked to by the community, and develop transformative ways to address harm.
  4. be guided by decisions of the person harmed while providing all involved the chance to change the cycles of abuse and violence.
  5. agree that sometimes a situation is important enough to stop a meeting immediately to address concerns.
  6. make every effort to understand and be open as a community to change.
  7. put in place an OWS de-escalation process if anyone disrespects these agreements. We may choose to remove the person(s) from the meeting or other OWS space until the harm has been addressed.
  8. remove people who have committed sexual violence or abuse and let the survivor decide the conditions for their return. We understand that they may not be able to return.
  9. understand that people who have committed harm in or outside OWS that prevents the participation of others may need to leave until the harm has been addressed.
  10. work to coordinate with organizations chosen by our community to assist individuals who have committed abuse or violence, or those who want to overcome addiction.
  11. begin each meeting with a reminder of these agreements

OWS Principles of Solidarity

Translations: Spanish

On September 17, 2011, people from all across the United States of America and the world came to protest the blatant injustices of our times perpetuated by the economic and political elites.  On the 17th we as individuals rose up against political disenfranchisement and social and economic injustice.  We spoke out, resisted, and successfully occupied Wall Street.

 

Today, we proudly remain in Liberty Square constituting ourselves as autonomous political beings engaged in non-violent civil disobedience and building solidarity based on mutual respect, acceptance, and love.  It is from these reclaimed grounds that we say to all Americans and to the world, Enough!  How many crises does it take?

 

We are the 99% and we have moved to reclaim our mortgaged future. Through a direct democratic process, we have come together as individuals and crafted these principles of solidarity, which are points of unity that include but are not limited to:

  • Engaging in direct and transparent participatory democracy;
  • Exercising personal and collective responsibility;
  • Recognizing individuals’ inherent privilege and the influence it has on all interactions;
  • Empowering one another against all forms of oppression;
  • Redefining how labor is valued;
  • The sanctity of individual privacy;
  • The belief that education is human right; and
  •  Making technologies, knowledge, and culture open to all to freely access, create, modify, and distribute. (amendment passed by consensus 2/9/2012)

 

We are daring to imagine a new socio-political and economic alternative that offers greater possibility of equality.  We are consolidating the other proposed principles of solidarity, after which demands will follow.

 


1 The Working Group on Principles of Consolidation continues to work through the other proposed principles to be incorporated as soon as possible into this living document. This is an official document crafted by the Working Group on Principles of Consolidation. The New York City General Assembly came to consensus on September 23rd to accept this working draft and post it online for public consumption.

OWS Statement of Autonomy

Passed by the General Assembly at Occupy Wall Street. November 10, 2011 and passed revision by the General Assembly at Occupy Wall Street, March 3, 2012.

 

Occupy Wall Street is a people’s movement.

 

It is party-less, leaderless, by the people and for the people. It is not a business, a political party, an advertising campaign or a brand.  It is not for sale.

 

We welcome all, who, in good faith, petition for a redress of grievances through non-violence. We provide a forum for peaceful assembly of individuals to engage in participatory democracy.  We welcome dissent.

 

Any statement or declaration not released through the General Assembly and made public online at www.nycga.net should be considered independent of Occupy Wall Street.

 

We wish to clarify that Occupy Wall Street is not and never has been affiliated with any established political party, candidate or organization.  Our only affiliation is with the people.

 

The people who are working together to create this movement are its sole and mutual caretakers.  If you have chosen to devote resources to building this movement, especially your time and labor, then it is yours.

 

Any organization is welcome to support us with the knowledge that doing so will mean questioning your own institutional frameworks of work and hierarchy and integrating our principles into your modes of action.

 

SPEAK WITH US, NOT FOR US.

 

Occupy Wall Street values collective resources, dignity, integrity and autonomy above money.  We have not made endorsements.  All donations are accepted anonymously and are transparently allocated via consensus by the General Assembly or the Operational Spokes Council.

 

We acknowledge the existence of professional activists who work to make our world a better place.  If you are representing, or being compensated by an independent source while participating in our process, please disclose your affiliation at the outset.  Those seeking to capitalize on this movement or undermine it by appropriating its message or symbols are not a part of Occupy Wall Street.

 

We stand in solidarity.  We are Occupy Wall Street.

St. Paul Principles of Solidarity

The recent wave of protests sweeping the United States under the banner of Occupy Wall Street—and elsewhere around the world under other monikers, like the Indignant Citizens Movement, ¡Democracia Real YA!, and the various blossoms of Arab Spring—has captured the imagination of millions on the egalitarian Left and libertarian Right. Inevitably, thankfully, it has also ignited fierce debate about the nature of sociopolitical and economic inequality and of democracy itself.  But as the cogs of corporate media seek to bewitch us with the specter of political gameplay, they also scheme to pacify the lonely rage of societies under fascist colonization by using an ancient tactic: divide and conquer.
We are left to feed on one another like jackals.
Our strength—as the surveillance state well knows—lies in our solidarity.

The St. Paul Principles of Solidarity
CIRCA 2008 IN REGARDS TO TWIN CITIES RNC ACTION
  1. Our solidarity will be based on respect for a diversity of tactics and the plans of other groups.
  2. The actions and tactics used will be organized to maintain a separation of time or space.
  3. Any debates or criticisms will stay internal to the movement, avoiding any public or media denunciations of fellow activists and events.
  4. We oppose any state repression of dissent, including surveillance, infiltration, disruption and violence. We agree not to assist law enforcement actions against activists and others.

 


A Principled Stand on Diversity of Tactic: Avoiding Uniformity of Failure

 

By Dr. Zakk Flash – Dr. Flash is an anarchist political writer, radical community activist, and editor of the Central Oklahoma Black/Red Alliance (COBRA). He lives in Norman, Oklahoma.

 

The recent wave of protests sweeping the United States under the banner of Occupy Wall Street—and elsewhere around the world under other monikers, like the Indignant Citizens Movement, ¡Democracia Real YA!, and the various blossoms of Arab Spring—has captured the imagination of millions on the egalitarian Left and libertarian Right. Inevitably, thankfully, it has also ignited fierce debate about the nature of sociopolitical and economic inequality and of democracy itself.  But as the cogs of corporate media seek to bewitch us with the specter of political gameplay, they also scheme to pacify the lonely rage of societies under fascist colonization by using an ancient tactic: divide and conquer. We are left to feed on one another like jackals.

 

Our strength—as the surveillance state well knows—lies in our solidarity. The IWW slogan “an injury to one is an injury to all” is apt; the people of Tunisia, frustrated by widespread poverty, political corruption, and poor living conditions, rose to defeat the iron fist of their dictator after the self-immolation of vegetable vendor Mohamed Bouazizi. In Egypt, Hosni Mubarak was ousted, in part, because of outcry over the brutal police murder of Khaled Saeed. Pictures of his viciously battered face, when added to growing social and political unrest, launched a wave of revolutionary fury.

 

It is no wonder, then, that the Occupy Movement gained its initial support when members of the New York City Police Department were caught on amateur video dousing peaceful protesters with pepper spray and beating others with truncheons. In Oakland, the community rallied behind protesters when Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen was critically injured by a police projectile. The City of Oakland, long known for the kind of illegal actions that gets one placed into federal receivership, turned a nonviolent gathering of its people into a war zone, complete with rubber-coated steel bullets, rifle-launched CS gas canisters, and explosive flashbang grenades. The Reich-wing assaults on liberty have united an erstwhile estranged citizenry; the American proletariat, like other people globally, is beginning to shake off useless notions of the intrinsic goodness of government.

 

Worldwide, people were sold on the idea that elections equal freedom, that representation was self-determination. We looked toward politicians to solve our problems and when they failed, we replaced them with other politicians. Regime change meant nothing.

 

The hollow promise of capitalist advancement has been revealed to be a pyramid scheme and the men behind the curtain are scrambling to use the mechanisms of authoritarianism in a last ditch effort to “restore order.”

 

Their order is, of course, unwinnable war, ecological disaster, and grievous imbalance of wealth and power. They use their established cultural dominance to justify their status quo as inevitable and beneficial to all, instead of as a social construct beneficial only to a handful of oligarchs. Futhermore, they maintain that false construct by painting their opponents as the bastard children of Chaos, violent and unorganized outsiders who have come to disrupt the natural state of things. They did it in Egypt, they’re doing it in Bahrain, and they’re doing it here.

 

That the people want violent upheaval is a lie equivalent to the neoconservative statement that “they hate us for our freedom.” There are no people on Earth who desire a permanent state of war—unless you buy the propaganda proclaiming that corporations are people and have equal rights, including the pursuit of happiness. Their happiness lies at the feet of the fascist state’s false god—terror in the name of national security.

 

Overcoming our fear doesn’t require a movement; it requires us to move. While Howard Zinn, author of You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train makes impassioned calls for “nonviolent direct action, which involve[s] organizing large numbers of people” he reminds us that those who question the war machine are often called “unrealistic” and advises his readers to keep all options on the table.

 

“To be “realistic” in dealing with a problem is to work only among the alternatives which the most powerful in society put forth. It is as if we are all confined to ‘a’, ‘b’, ‘c’, or ‘d’ in the multiple choice test, when we know there is another possible answer. American society, although it has more freedom of expression than most societies in the world, thus sets limits beyond which respectable people are not supposed to think or speak.”
To be “respectable” is all too often to sit on the sidelines of history, remaining neutral or moving at a marginally useful pace. However, if resistance movements are to avoid violence and bloodshed, they must work out ways in which the radical and the respectable can work, hand-in-hand, to both mobilize the greatest amount of people and, at the same time, remain an effective force for change.  Power concedes nothing without a demand.

 

The Saint Paul Principles provide a clear way to maintain that solidarity within the diversity of the movement.
 

When our movements split on sectarian lines, we save the enemy the trouble of dividing before they conquer us. In every resistance movement, the story becomes the same: the defenders of the status quo placate some of their adversaries, and then stop at nothing to crush those who won’t compromise. The opposition is divided in two by a mixture of seduction and violence. Energy is wasted in dispute and recriminations, each faction insisting the others are messing things up by “not getting with the program.”

 

Our task is to do away with exploitation and oppression, not reconcile ourselves with lesser versions of them. By supporting a diversity of tactics, activists gain the freedom to adapt to quickly changing situations; each tactic accomplishes a particular goal, contributing toward the larger goal. Diversity of tactic is truly an experiment in democracy, the process of solidarity spelled out with regard for the contributions of each of the people involved. By avoiding needless arguments on the merits of a particular tactic, resistance movements are free to focus on strategy—the culmination of tactical achievements towards to broader objective.

 

However, without general agreed-upon principles of unity, there is no movement—just collection of individuals in close proximity. Shared purpose is essential to community, however disagreed upon particular tactics are. Here we should keep in mind the words of English writer G.K. Chesterton:

 

“Merely having an open mind is nothing; the object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.

Direct action gets the goods and accomplishes that shared purpose. Utilizing the St. Paul Principles as a compass, different groups apply different tactics according to what they believe in and feel comfortable doing, with an eye to complimenting other efforts. Activists codified them in 2008 during demonstrations at the Republican National Convention as a way to have a concrete declaration of standards in the context of a broad spectrum of activists and to actively extinguish divisiveness from respective groups. They allow for organization to maximize our potential, without the paralyzing bureaucracy of hierarchical leadership. They work.

 

Tactics are not religion; everyone would be better off without treating them as if they are.
It behooves each individual to determine whether a particular action is a tactic that furthers the goal of the movement or particular grievance or whether such tactic acts as mere symbol. Acts that rely on symbolism are only effective if they bring inspiring attention to the cause; the occupation of Alcatraz by members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) brought the attention of the nation when it highlighted economic disparity on tribal reservations and the refusal of the US government to honor treaties it had signed with indigenous people. Effective resistance focuses on that sort of long-term strategy over ceaseless debate on tactic, allowing links to form between autonomous resistance groups to create larger coalitions within the working class.

 

Generally, violence on behalf of the State is not as open in the United States as it is many other places; sociopolitical hegemony ensures it isn’t often necessary. Therefore, it is often needless to blockade neighborhoods against paramilitary police forces, for instance. This is not the case in places like Syria, where harsh measures by the government silence dissent and a commitment to passive resistance could mean death. Diversity of tactic means flexibility in the face of inflexible violence. The specific context, time, and nature of the struggle dictate whether defensive measures such as the shields carried in Oakland to protect from riot police assault are necessary or not.

 

Coupled with respect for diversity of tactic is a separation of space. This seems to be the most misunderstood of the St. Paul Principles and, as such, it is the most important. Separation of both time and space ensures that peaceful marches, boycotts, and pickets remain peaceful—unless, as all too often happens—agents of the police state find it necessary to escalate towards violence, as they have in New York, Oakland, Bahrain, Tahrir Square, and elsewhere.

 

Keeping actions that may be deemed radical by reactionaries—like the appropriation of abandoned buildings for free social collectives like Infoshops and community organizing—separate from uncontroversial marches and pickets makes it less likely that the police will escalate their use of force. Unfortunately, it is no guarantee. The revolutions sweeping the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa have rulers quick to suppress any dissent, peaceful or otherwise. There is no such thing as American exceptionalism.

 

The Occupy Movement is an alliance of sovereign peoples coming together for a common cause. The individualism of its members, in the midst of a movement, must be recognized and respected. We gather under a common name, with similar goals, but with individual backgrounds, needs, and visions of the future. To achieve real and lasting peace, however, the branches of the Occupy Movement and its many members must stand in solidarity. Discussion is a necessary component of healthy democracy and should be encouraged. However, it behooves us to remember that the health of democratic movements is also impacted by the cancer of sectarianism. Internal divisions and rivalries will rip any movement apart at the seams.

 

Mahatma Gandhi named some of the roots of violence as wealth without work, commerce without morality, and politics without principles. The capitalist state uses violence to perpetrate itself and calls those who oppose it the perpetrators of violence. To guard against state repression of dissent, a certain security culture must be cultivated. Tactics such as the black bloc, which was developed by the Autonomist movement to combat fascism, are wonderful tools that can be used to protect protesters from governments who devoured George Orwell’s 1984 thinking it was a training manual. The surveillance state hasn’t been content to place CCTVs on every street corner; at every rally or protest, one is sure to find police officers filming the people gathered. It is not paranoia to think that dossiers are being assembled on “persons of interest.”

 

On the other hand, care must be taken to not succumb to an atmosphere of suspicion and fear. Assume that infiltrators are among you already and act accordingly.  It is counterproductive to avoid addressing injustice.  John F. Kennedy was correct in his assertion that “there are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.

 

To conquer what Martin Luther King, Jr. called the “giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism,” we must recognize human rights as our ultimate goal. We face a Leviathan that pits us against each other, eliminates us by co-opting our movements or brutally suppressing them, and does it by manipulating societal beliefs, explanations, perceptions, and values. To address the needs of the people, pacifism as pathology must be abandoned and a less dogmatic critique needs to be adopted and put into practice. A diversity of tactics, with the St. Paul Principles as a foundation to stand on, provides the freedom for that critique. And freedom is what we’re all about.

Occupy Homes MN

When individuals face foreclosure and eviction they may choose to engage in direct action that directly takes a stand against the banks and unjust foreclosure/eviction system. OccupyMN supports and stands in solidarity with individual initiatives to reclaim shelter when faced with homelessness.

 

Occupy Minneapolis helped blossom one of the most successful movements against the foreclosure process in the state of Minnesota. Our collective has extended solidarity to the efforts of the anti-foreclosure movement and encourages individuals at-risk of loosing their homes to build a support network and campaign for the saving of their homes.

 

We advise that individuals that begin campaigning seek legal assistance from organizations such as the ACLU, NLG, or other legal representatives prior to engaging in direct action.

 

Occupy Homes Resources:

 


Why did Occupy Minneapolis cut ties with “Occupy Homes MN” and what did that mean for the movement?

 

On March 20th, 2013 the content creators for Occupy Minneapolis released a statement in regards to the non-profit organization known as “Occupy Homes MN”.

 

We still continue to actively support their efforts and the efforts of the movement in regards to the anti-foreclosure movement today:

 

“As the content creators on the OccupyMN Facebook page & Twitter, we can no longer share a content process & resources with Occupy Homes MN effective immediately. While it is laudable to work on housing issues, we cannot reconcile a working process with this commercialized group any further.

 

We are in a unique position where we must Block our further participation in a feedback loop of public promotion & private stipends, message shaping and fundraising. Since, unlike any other known “occupy” group, Occupy Homes MN demands cash payment for what was once an egalitarian participation process, there is no way we can resolve our differences under those terms.

 

Many of us helped create, volunteered with and were arrested with Occupy Homes, until unethical tactics serving the goal of evolution into a profitable Non-Governmental Organization achieved dominance. We are sorry that our pages have not been able to be used to defend our friends and discuss the truth about these harmful hierarchical tactics, including censorship & banning volunteers from the listserv for speaking out.

 

Additionally, we can not work with or accept messages that promote classist attacks on the most vulnerable in our society such as the chemically dependent homeless who were attacked as “drug house” rot in recent PR campaign material.

 

We wish them well, but we must have our own space which does not operate on a commercially oriented basis.”

F.A.Q.'s

Q. What is OccupyMN?

A. We are a volunteer collective of individuals that are standing in solidarity with the Occupy Movement and are working to connect Minnesota with the Global Revolution Movement. We stand with the principles of both Occupy Wall Street and our local OccupyMN networks.

The Occupy Movement is an expansive network of individuals and groups working together to fight for economic justice in the face of rampant criminality on Wall Street and a government controlled by monied interests. We, “the 99%”, are trying to wrestle government control out the hands of the “1%”. OccupyMN is a people’s movement. It is leaderless and party-less by design. It is not a business, a political party, an advertising campaign or a brand. It is not for sale.

Q: What is Occupy Wall Street?

A: Occupy Wall Street is part of an international people’s movement fighting for economic justice in the face of rampant criminality on Wall Street and a government controlled by monied interests. #OWS is the 99% trying to wrestle control of its government out the hands of the 1%.Occupy Wall Street is a people’s movement. It is leaderless and party-less by design. It is not a business, a political party, an advertising campaign or a brand. It is not for sale.

Q: What’s the difference between Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and the occupies in other cities?

A: Occupy Wall Street is the occupation near Wall Street in New York City. There are other occupations around New York City including Occupy Brooklyn, Occupy Queens, Occupy Staten Island, and Take Back the Bronx. All occupations are autonomous. The media often refers to other occupations, such as ours, as Occupy Wall Street because Wall Street companies are at the heart of the of the many injustices that ties the movements together.

OccupyMN refers to the original occupation in Minneapolis, MN. but may refer to one of the many other occupations that took place within the state of Minnesota. Cities such as Duluth continue to hold Occupy gatherings on a frequent basis while other occupations, such as Occupy Minneapolis, continue to stay active and stand in solidarity with a broad variety of other movements.

Q: Who are your leaders?

A: Occupy Wall Street is structured on anarchist organizing principles. This means there are no formal leaders and no formal hierarchy. Rather, the movement is full of people who lead by example. We are leader-full, and this makes us strong.

Instead of picking leaders, which you would then have to follow, leaders emerge organically. These people become leaders because others choose to follow them. At anytime you can choose to follow someone else. You can follow more than one person. If people like your ideas, they may choose to follow you. Anyone can become a leader.

Q: What side on you on politically? Are you democrat, republican, communist, socialist, liberal, conservative, anarchist, libertarian; what?

A: Occupy Wall Street is not and never has been affiliated with any established political party, candidate or organization. Our only affiliation is with the people.We find strength in our diverse political perspectives as we work together to build a better world. We reject politics that divides people against one another based on their beliefs. We value true participatory democracy.We hope that this exercise in participatory democracy will bred mutual respect, interdependence and understanding among the 99%, and help shed today’s political climate of divisiveness, disrespect, mistrust, and marginalization.

Q: What were you protesting?

A: We oppose all forms of injustice and oppression, especially those stemming from Wall Street’s crimes and abuse of control. Economic exploitation and injustice has many faces, therefore we tackle many issues. Yet, we are not merely a protest movement. We communicate not just outrage, but a full-on call to action. Get your city to transfer its money out of corrupting banks. Sing at the auctioneer until they cancel the illegal foreclosures. Join groups writing letters to the SEC exposing the Corporations’ lies they use to beg for mercy for their crimes. Teach shareholders the power of shareholder activism. Don’t just protest. Take action. Direct action.

Q: What are your goals and demands?

A: We do not have one or two simple demands, though many demand them of us. Why? Because we believe that making demands of a corrupt system makes our success contingent on the will of others. It legitimizes the corrupted, it disempowers us.Our actions are our demands.What is your demand? What are
you doing about it?

Q: How long will this go on?

A: We will keep taking action so long as injustice, exploitation, and repression flourish. We will keep taking organizing until broad swaths of the people realize that it is only we, the 99%-ers, can reclaim society from the domination of the 1%.Freedom is never a spectator sport. We have an obligation, particularly if we claim to love democracy, to build serious and meaningful change from the bottom up.

Q: What have you accomplished so far?

A: Lots. Besides getting the entire world to talk about economic injustice, we have inspired towns and cities across the country to move their money out of the predatory banks like Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, HSBC, Wells Fargo and others. We have kept people from being thrown out of their homes through auction blockades and eviction defense. We have inspired shareholder activism. We have brought street protest back to life. We have exposed the corruption of governments who have been bought out by the 1%. We have brought people together across political, racial, and class divides to build a better future. And we’re just beginning.All these are steps on the way to the broader, deeper systemic change we aim for. We’re just beginning.

Q: How do I find out what’s happening in my community?

A: Search for your town or city’s name plus the word “occupy.” You can also check directory.occupy.net.

Q : Will I get arrested if I come to Occupy actions?

A: During marches and actions, it is unlikely that you will get arrested unless you are prepared to. If you are unwilling to be arrested, or feel you cannot because you are not a U.S. citizen, or are a minor, there are ways to protect yourself from arrest, the most important being: remaining non-violent. Check here for legal information and advice on these topics.

Q: How do I get involved?

A: First, you should know that you don’t need anyone’s permission to be a part of Occupy. You don’t even need to be in New York to be involved with OWS. If you are committed to justice, equality, and liberation for all people (see our principles for reference) and you have an idea for an Occupy action or group you are empowered to start it. If you want to plug into existing Occupy networks check out occupytogether.org and interoccupy.org.

Q: Where did you all go during Winter?

A: Occupy Wall Street continued to organize all winter. We met in public spaces all over New York City, continued to have assemblies, and had actions almost every week. During the winter Occupy Minneapolis first retreated into the Minneapolis skyway system. Occupy Minneapolis later gathered in other spaces to avoid weather, such as the Walker Methodist Church (2012)  prior to being damaged by arson. Occupy Minneapolis continued to meet frequently at 4200 Cedar community space (2013/14) – other Minnesota occupations continued to meet in spaces within their own city, such as Occupy Duluth which continues to meet at the Coney Island Cafe during winter.

 

Many occupations in other cities continued through the winter including encampments in Anchorage, Iowa City, Atlanta, Madison, New Haven, Chattanooga, Cleveland, Little Rock, Lincoln, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, Rochester and Toronto. If you thought we had gone away, you may want to consider switching to a different newspaper.

OCCUPYMN SOCIAL NETWORKING FEEDS

OUR FACEBOOK FEED

12 hours ago

Watch live the corporate takeover of the internet.

Federal regulators are expected to vote to allow Internet providers to speed up service for some apps and websites — and block or slow down others — in a dec...

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12 hours ago

Watch live the corporate takeover of the internet.

Federal regulators are expected to vote to allow Internet providers to speed up service for some apps and websites — and block or slow down others — in a dec...

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1 day ago

#BREAKING: Judge Leibovitz just threw out the felony charge of inciting a riot against all 6 current #J20 defendants. Motions to acquit on other counts now being considered as well. #J20trials

#BREAKING: Judge Leibovitz just threw out the felony charge of inciting a riot against all 6 current #J20 defendants. Motions to acquit on other counts now being considered as well. #J20trials

See our latest report including a full scraping of Detective
Greggory Pemberton's Twitter account that proved controversial in the trial (171MB zip): https://www.unicornriot.ninja/2017/criminalizing-dissent-proving-mere-presence-j20-prosecution-rests-case/

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1 day ago

NATIONAL TAKE A KNEE CONFERENCE: RACE, POLICE VIOLENCE & THE RIGHT TO PROTEST

On the weekend of professional football’s Big Game we are hosting a conference: RACE, POLICE VIOLENCE & THE RIGHT TO PROTEST followed by a protest and rally of our own on Sunday February 4.

The purpose of the conference is to bring together everyone across the country who has protested police brutality, especially those who have taken a knee to protest police violence and the families of victims particularly those ... See more

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2 days ago

Think about it speculators... aka non-progressives.

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2 days ago

Why one in three Detroit properties have been foreclosed on in the last 15 years.

(via HBO)

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3 days ago

Celtic fans

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3 days ago

Unicorn Riot is LIVE NOW... Up North! An Indigenous-led protest rally against Line 3 pipe yards. #NoLine3 Follow @UR_ninja on Twitter for updates from the frontline.

Rally Against Line 3 Minnesota Pipe Yards: Unicorn Riot is covering a rally against Line 3 in MN.

To support our continued coverage of this and other events, please consider making a sustaining donation to our all-volunteer-operated not-for-profit media collective: https://www.unicornriot.ninja/support-our-work/

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3 days ago

#ShutItDown

This culture is sociopathic, and it's killing the planet. Stopping one oil pipeline isn't enough. Drastic and urgent action is needed. The bottom line is that we firmly believe a serious underground resistance is needed to stop the killing of the many creatures who call Earth home. We also believe that such resistance would provide fertile soil for resistance to racism, patriarchy, and other oppressions. It is time to fight on the side of the living with #DecisiveEcologicalWarfare.

Read more: ... See more

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4 days ago

Here is why you don't own a house.

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THE OCCUPATION OF MINNESOTA

Minnesota spawned Occupy movements in more than one city during the days following the initial occupation of Minneapolis.

Prominent Occupy groups formed to hold marches and occupations in Saint Paul, Rochester, Duluth, Brainerd, Grand Rapids, Mankato, Fergus Falls, Bemidji, Alexandria, Marshall, Fargo–Moorhead and Northfield.

Occupy Duluth continues to meet for general assemblies and other actions.

THE PEOPLE'S PLAZA

The initial occupation of Hennepin County Government Center‘s plaza in downtown Minneapolis began on October 7, 2011 under the name OccupyMN. The plaza, located off the light rail station and adjacent to City Hall, was renamed The People’s Plaza by rally organizers. Hundreds of protesters showed up at the plaza, including union members from United Steelworkers, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, UNITE HERE, AFSCME, the Sheet Metal Workers, along with many other supporting groups and individuals…

MORE ABOUT THE PEOPLE'S PLAZA...

On October 13, Occupy protester Melissa Lynn Hill was given a trespassing notice for writing messages in chalk in The People’s Plaza. She was barred from entering the Government Center or the plaza for a year. Two days later, while acting as a legal observer for the National Lawyers Guild and standing on a sidewalk near the Plaza, Hill was arrested. Her attorney successfully sued Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek for violating her constitutional rights.

 

Sheriff Stanek ordered that tents could not be pitched in the Plaza and forbade people from staying overnight. Occupy protesters defied the orders, staying overnight in the plaza. On October 15, in conjunction with world-wide protests that day, a group of occupiers set up a number of tents in the grassy area on the south side of Hennepin County Government Center. The tents were torn down by the police later that night. Subsequent attempts to set up tents were met with force.

 

Marches on October 17 included attendees from Minnesota for a Fair Economy, Students for a Democratic Society, and Socialist Alternative. Protesters occupied the 10th Avenue Bridge, blocking traffic for about a half hour. Eleven people were arrested on the bridge.

 

After the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office indicated they would no longer allow signs in The People’s Plaza, the General Assembly voted to allow the American Civil Liberties Union to represent them in a potential lawsuit against the County. On November 4, Hennepin County employees removed signs from the plaza over the objections of the occupiers, who later replaced the signs, risking arrest. The next week, the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners drafted new rules forbidding people from sleeping in the plaza.

REOCCUPY & PEAVEY PLAZA

Spring 2012 saw a resurgence of activity for Occupy Minneapolis. Dual occupations of both Loring Park and Peavey Plaza, nicknamed “Reoccupy Minnesota,” took root on April 7, with occupiers voicing their intent to stay throughout the summer. Mixed messages were given to protesters when police spokesman Steve McCarty indicated that the Minneapolis Police Department would allow tents to remain overnight in Peavey Plaza and Police Chief Tim Dolan later contradicted him, visiting the Plaza himself to pass out copies of city ordinances to occupiers. That night, protesters took to the streets, marching their tents through downtown Minneapolis. Twelve of the marchers were arrested and, during the fracas, a police officer shoved KSTP cameraman Chad Nelson, knocking his camera to the ground and injuring him.

MORE ABOUT PEAVEY PLAZA...

On April 10, members of Occupy Minneapolis went to City Hall and asked that Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak condemn racial profiling and police brutality.[34] Days later, Barb Johnson, President of the Minneapolis City Council, introduced a resolution to close the city’s public plazas at night. Council members Cam Gordon and Gary Schiff criticized the move, and the plan was sent to the Committee for Public Safety, Civil Rights and Health for a public hearing. The resolution eventually passed – and with the construction of the Minnesota Orchestra adjacent to Peavey Plaza, the city of Minneapolis eventually fenced-off the plaza entirely to both occupiers and the public.

MN LAW ENFORCEMENT DISTRIBUTES DRUGS TO ACTIVISTS & AT-RISK INDIVIDUALS DURING ROUTINE DRE TRAINING

On May 2, activists with Occupy Minneapolis released a documentary video called MK Occupy Minnesota. The video documents testimony from participants that police officers in Minneapolis gave them cannabis as part of a Drug Recognition Expert program.

 

Video documentation by local activists and independent media shows that police officers and county deputies from across Minnesota have been picking up young people near Peavey Plaza for a training program to recognize drug-impaired drivers. Multiple participants say officers gave them illicit drugs and provided other incentives to take the drugs. The Occupy movement, present at Peavey Plaza since April 7th, appears to be targeted as impaired people are dropped off at the Plaza, and others say they’ve been rewarded for offering to snitch on the movement.

 

Local independent media activists and members of Communities United Against Police Brutality began investigating police conduct around the Plaza after witnessing police dropping off impaired people at the plaza and hearing rumors that they were offering people drugs.  We videotaped police conduct and interviewed participants, learning some very disturbing information about the DRE program.

 

Officers stated on record the DRE program, run by the Minnesota State Patrol, has no Institutional Review Board or independent oversight. They agreed no ambulances or EMTs were on site at the Richfield MnDOT facility near the airport where most subjects were taken. Multiple times, participants left Peavey Plaza sober, returned intoxicated, and said they’d been given free drugs by law enforcement. We documented on more than one occasion, someone being told they were sober by one officer, and then picked up by a different officer, and returning intoxicated.

 

Given the dangers of impaired driving, there is value in training law enforcement officers to distinguish between the effects of various drugs and several common medical conditions. However, we have captured video footage of instances in which DRE trainees recruited subjects who are not already impaired, and those participants say they were given drugs by the officers.

 

Although program documents indicate that participants must sign a waiver, https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/msp/form… there was no indication from any of the participants interviewed that a waiver was offered or obtained. Further, video footage seems to validate the recollections of participants that no medical personnel or ambulance were on site during the observation and testing in Richfield. A DRE officer told one of our investigators that no Institutional Review Board assessment of the program has been made, a requirement of all experiments involving human subjects. Since it’s unethical to encourage people to take drugs–whether by giving them drugs directly or enticing them with food, cigarettes, or other rewards (which participants say they were given)–it is unlikely such a program would pass IRB review as it endangers the test subjects.

 

According to the WCCO article from May 2011, officer trainees in the past have worked with various non-profit organizations to recruit drug users. It would appear now that they are no longer relying solely on this tactic, instead recruiting users directly and, participants say, providing them with drugs. After the sessions, these individuals are then dropped off in public areas without supportive care, creating a public safety hazard. In an example at Peavey Plaza caught on film, an individual who said he’s been smoking courtesy of the police for an hour, crossed a line of Minneapolis police barricades, climbed to the top of a large sign and sat 15 feet above the sidewalk swinging his arms and legs in front of a police camera.

 

Our investigation points to particular efforts to target and recruit youth. Further, law enforcement officers have been taped recruiting people from the Peavey Plaza area of Nicollet Mall and have dropped off a number of impaired individuals at Peavey Plaza. In some instances, Minneapolis police squad cars were present while DRE trainees recruited people at Peavey Plaza. After receiving drugs, some subjects were asked to snitch on the Occupy movement or asked about various people and activities of Occupy, they said. Given efforts by the Minneapolis city council to pass an ordinance designed to restrict access to Peavey Plaza by the Occupy movement, the conduct of DRE trainees points to the possibility that they are working hand-in-glove with Minneapolis police to discredit and disrupt the Occupy movement.

 

“I think most people would be very surprised to have our tax dollars used to get people high,” states Michelle Gross, president of Communities United Against Police Brutality. “These activities call into question the methods and motives of this DRE training.”

 

all and asked that Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak condemn racial profiling and police brutality.[34] Days later, Barb Johnson, President of the Minneapolis City Council, introduced a resolution to close the city’s public plazas at night. Council members Cam Gordon and Gary Schiff criticized the move, and the plan was sent to the Committee for Public Safety, Civil Rights and Health for a public hearing. The resolution eventually passed – and with the construction of the Minnesota Orchestra adjacent to Peavey Plaza, the city of Minneapolis eventually fenced-off the plaza entirely to both occupiers and the public.

ANTI-EVICTION & FORECLOSURE DEFENSE ACTIONS

Occupy Minneapolis was among the first cities in the United States to organize the occupation of foreclosed homes as part of the Occupy Homes initiative. Occupy members worked with Neighborhoods Organizing for Change to prevent the eviction of several Minneapolis residents.

 

North Minneapolis resident Monique White was the first homeowner to work with Occupy activists, who set up tents in her front yard. She faced eviction after her home was foreclosed by US Bank and turned downed an offer of “cash for keys.”

 

Occupy Minneapolis occupied the home of University of Minnesota anthropology professor Sara Kaiser, located in the Corcoran neighborhood and foreclosed by US Bank. On November 19, 2011, Minneapolis police tried to evict the Occupy Minneapolis organizers housed there. Protester Michael Bounds (Panda) was arrested inside the house. After situating himself in front of a police cruiser, Devin Wynn-Shemanek was nearly run over, then arrested and charged with obstruction of justice. Officers then attempted to board up the house’s windows, but were thwarted by protesters who linked arms and surrounded the house. Once the police left the property, 50 protesters reoccupied the house, livestreaming their actions.

 

Organizers from Occupy Minneapolis joined with Neighborhoods Organizing for Change to help ex-Marine and Vietnam veteran Bobby Hull save his home from foreclosure by Bank of America (BoA). While Hull owed $275,000 on his mortgage, his home only brought in $80,000 at auction. A BoA spokesperson said that Hull did not meet the guidelines for home retention. Occupy worked with Hull’s neighbors and put pressure on the bank to prevent an eviction that was scheduled for February 17, 2012. In January, activists dressed as pirates delivered a petition to US Bank requesting the renegotiation of mortgages for foreclosed homeowners and demanded a meeting with US Bank CEO Richard Davis. The organizers eventually succeeded in securing a loan modification for Hull that allowed him to remain in his home.