What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to baird.helgeson@startribune.com.

Council mulls plaza restrictions following Occupy dustup

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: April 12, 2012 - 4:04 PM

Will the Minneapolis City Council take a hard line against the Occupy movement sleeping in public plazas? 

Council President Barb Johnson will find out Friday. She plans to introduce a resolution at tomorrow's Council meeting that will bar people from camping or loitering in plazas after midnight.

That follows -- and appears to be in direct response to -- Occupy Minnesota's recent clash with police over whether they could pitch tents in Peavey Plaza on Nicollet Mall. Occupiers were eventually arrested after leaving the plaza and blocking traffic on the Mall.

The resolution, which Council Member Cam Gordon posted to his blog, effectively bans anyone from city plazas after midnight except those  "traveling through the plaza without delay."

Gordon said he will vote against the resolution, which "puts the City on the wrong side of civil liberties, including freedom of expression." 

"It is clearly designed to send a message that Occupiers will be arrested, giving the MPD a green light (and proactive political cover) for more of the mass arrest events like we saw last Saturday," Gordon wrote.

City police officials, meanwhile, have taken to YouTube in an effort to justify Saturday's arrests. They posted clips to a month-old "Minneapolis Police" YouTube channel Thursday illustrating their efforts to warn protestors of their impending arrests.

See those videos here.

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