I had an appointment in Minneapolis yesterday. On my way back, I stopped at Occupy Minnesota to see if they were still there. They were and needed coffee. So I bought a couple of “canteens” — cardboard boxes full of coffee — at the nearest coffee shop and brought them back, along with a dozen cookies. Buying cookies one by one from a coffee shop is expesnsive. At least they were big cookies.
The porta-potties are gone, and there seemed to be fewer tables than before. However, the sleeping bags were neatly stacked in one area of the plaza, and there were a lot of them. The woman at the food table said most people were off on a march, protesting the closing of Zuccotti Park.
The governments in every city have said the encampments are messy and dirty and attract homeless people. Was Occupy Minnesota messy? Yes, a bit, the way any public space is when it’s used by the public. A flea market is messy. So is a beach in the summer. There was one guy who looked homeless by the food table. So what? He could get a free cup of coffee and be treated like a human being. Is there anything wrong with a person wanting that and getting it?
The woman at the food table said they are negotiating to stay day by day.