Protesters greet Bachmann, Paul speech

Many groups turned out to protest against Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul at Northrop Hall, on the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus September 25. By 5:30 p.m., the first few people trickled onto the lawn with their signs, and by 6 p.m., protestors against Michelle Bachman outnumbered a much smaller group of her supporters. Billionares for Wealthcare was the most colorful of the protest groups. These three women formed a small comedy group that said things like, “Well, it’s not our fault if they have a pre-existing condition,” while holding their champagne glasses and adjusting their feathered hats. The atmosphere, while sometimes hostile, did not get out of hand, as U of M security guards were supplemented by hired security. Continue Reading

Minnesotans voting with their feet for public transit

“People are voting with their feet by driving less and taking more public transportation,” said Samantha Chadwick of Environment Minnesota, speaking at a press conference next to the light rail stop at Minneapolis City Hall on September 23. Environment Minnesota released a new report, Getting On Track: Record Transit Ridership Increases Energy Independence, showing that Minnesotans drove two percent fewer miles in 2008 than they did in 2007, and that public transportation ridership increased ten percent in the past three years. Chadwick believes that the increase in people using public transportation should be met with an increase in public transportation availability. “Cutting service at a time when there is increasing demand for it is ridiculous,” said Michele Summers, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005. A main roadblock that public transit faces is its lack of funding. Continue Reading