Protesters gathered in and around vacated buildings for a month in 1970 to prevent their demolition for the construction of a fast-food restaurant. Over the roof, you can see Marshall High School in the distant background a block away and some former Victorian homes that had been converted to businesses. Photo by and Copyright Cheryl Walsh Bellville.

Al Milgrom’s long to-do list: Second of two parts: Film Society founder becomes filmmaker

Al Milgrom, who founded the first long-lasting film society in Minnesota, has become a filmmaker himself with his first feature length film, “The Dinkytown Uprising,” on the demonstrations to stop construction of a fast-food restaurant. [Link to great trailer: https://vimeo.com/121387504]During the takeover, the protestors – some of whom were university and high school students – cooked their own food in the former diner, published their own newsletter, and created a “hotel” for staying on site, where one of Milgrom’s subjects admitted to losing his virginity. The film “Easy Rider” was listed on the marque of the Varsity Theater across the street.In 1970, Red Barn, a chain that folded in the 1980s, would have faced competition in Dinkytown from Burger King, which went out of business in Dinkytown in the late 1990s, and McDonald’s, which has been in Dinkytown since 1960. Bob Lafferty, who owned five Twin Cities Red Barn franchises, met occasionally with protesters and Milgrom shows some tense but friendly banter between them.With speakers on a megaphone in the background, Milgrom caught some of the personal exchanges. “You need fast food on a campus,” Lafferty said. Continue Reading

Police attribute slow riot response to lack of funds

University of Minnesota police said Tuesday that a lack of funding restricted Minneapolis’ police ability to quickly respond to Saturday’s Dinkytown riot, which also resulted in police issuing fewer minor consumption tickets. University police issued only three underage consumption tickets over the course of Spring Jam weekend — four less than last year, according to University police. University and Minneapolis police arrested 12 people near campus throughout the weekend, though no charges have been filed. All of the arrestees were male. Due to Minneapolis’ police lack of funding, its ability to respond quickly was restricted. Continue Reading

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Students riot in Dinkytown

Over several hours Saturday evening and into Sunday morning, more than 500 students took to the 1300 and 1400 blocks of Seventh Street Southeast near the University of Minnesota in a contained party-turned-riot that culminated in heavy police presence and 12 arrests. Student reactions to Dinkytown Riot … With camera in hand, Robbins headed to the scene. The computer science junior was there for about 30 seconds, he said, when without warning police shot him in the groin with a paint canister and tackled him to the ground. … Continue Reading

Students react to Dinkytown Riot

Peter Robbins lives a block away from the epicenter of Saturday night’s party-turned-riot. And when he heard police showed up, he said the photojournalist in him kicked in — he needed to document it. Students riot in Dinkytown

With camera in hand, Robbins headed to the scene. The computer science junior was there for about 30 seconds, he said, when without warning police shot him in the groin with a paint canister and tackled him to the ground. That was at 11:30 p.m., about a half hour after riot police first came. Continue Reading