OccupyMN may be moving in next door to you


OccupyMN may occupy foreclosed homes when snow flies.

Nick Espinosa, one of the OccupyMN organizers, says the group is considering occupying foreclosed homes when inevitable snows begin to fall in Minneapolis. The group has been blessed with relatively mild October weather while it has camped out in “The People’s Plaza,” also known as Hennepin County Government Center Plaza.

Beyond preventing hypothermia, the move would also draw attention to one of the primary reasons people have been in the plaza for two weeks—the need to put a moratorium on home foreclosures. Some 29,000 homes in Minnesota are now in foreclosure process.

A foreclosure moratorium is one of the specific demands the group has made so far. Nationally the movement has changed the conversation about rich and poor and forced the media to write more about the disparity between the richest 1% of Americans and all others.


One small victory

An OccupyMN press release on October 26 announced victory for Ruth Murman, who was two weeks from foreclosure:

“This morning, U.S. Bank and GMAC called Ruth and agreed to give her the two weeks she had requested, and are currently negotiating a payment to help with moving costs.

“‘I got about 6 calls from U.S. Bank and GMAC yesterday,” explained Ruth. “Its amazing how desperate they were to get in touch with me all of a sudden, after they have ignored my calls and refused to help my father and I for months.’ …

“‘I’m so grateful for all of the hard work of the folks down at Occupy Minnesota. This means the world to my father and I. It shows that when we stand together we are stronger, and we can win.’

“OccupyMN went ahead with their scheduled protest today at U.S. Bank as around 75 people rallied outside the bank, celebrating the movement’s victory in its ongoing anti-foreclosure campaign.”

A few days ago, seven protestors were arrested for blocking an intersection in downtown Minneapolis. Espinosa sees this as but one tool to help accomplish goals. He said that rallies, protests and marches haven’t produced results so they will try a number of different approaches.

About 100 people have been sleeping over in the park south of the building and about the same number have been participating in the daily general assembly, which decides on what positions and actions Occupy MN will take.

The general assembly, which is puzzling to many, operates through a consensus approach rather than a typical Robert’s Rules of Order approach.

Espinosa has participated in a number of high profile protests, including “donating” a bag of pennies for gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, and dumping glitter on Newt Gingrich and the Marcus Bachmann clinic.