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Fredrick Douglass declared in his 1857 speech, "If there is no struggle there is no progress." and "Power concedes nothing without a demand." Looking back over 2009, a year of hope amid despair, we activists made progress indeed through almost constant struggle. THANKS TO ALL OF YOU!!!!!
Thirty-five days into the popular occupation of 3138 Clinton, Rosemary Williams (one of five Minnesota women publicly resisting eviction - TCIMC/PPEHRC video) was inside her home when it was raided by the Minneapolis Police Department around 2:45pm Friday afternoon. Three supporters were inside. Police claimed they would give ample time to move out remaining belongings, and those inside did so, aided by several dozen who rallied to the scene.
But later in the afternoon, the MPD's plan for a quiet, obedient eviction was foiled. After rallying the crowd, a handful of activists crossed the yellow tape roping off Clinton Avenue on either side of the house and were promptly assaulted by the police with kicks and pepper spray. Other supporters crossed the now-removed yellow tape from the opposite direction to ensure the activists' safety. Officers responded aggressively; one shoved someone to the ground with a two-handed shove to the chest. A TC Indymedia volunteer was sprayed directly in the face while on the "public" side of the police tape.
Four or five people sat down in front of the house in an act of civil disobedience. An officer pointed to another man standing motionless with the crowd outside the police cordon, grabbed him and arrested him. Eventually, seven were taken waiting vans in the alley and arrested. An MPD spokesman said they were charged with obstruction of legal process, though they have not actually been formally charged as of tonight. As of midnight, all have been released from jail. This video (1:50) shows the police conduct during the civil disobedience.
Latest update 9pm: Raid is over. New article and video coming hopefully before we go to bed! 7 arrests on probable cause obstruction of legal process, according to the MPD. (older updates below)
Latest video from today's Minneapolis police eviction action at Rosemary Williams' house, 3138 Clinton Ave. S. More to follow - jail support has started up now after 7 were arrested in civil disobedience action.