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Freezing temp, possibility of rain, and 50% chance of arrest.

The temperature is -4C (24F) in Minneapolis this morning. The weather will warm slightly this weekend, but there is still a chance of precipitation. Hennepin County is winterizing their plaza, and they are making both reasonable and unreasonable demands of the Occupation here. Apparently this memo came from David.Hough@co.hennepin.mn.us, but I have not verified the source.  The significant part of the memo is this last paragraph:

Finally, as the temperatures fall and/or it begins to snow, it will become necessary that Occupy MN make further modifications to their occupation of the Government Center plaza in order to ensure personal safety and allow for snow shoveling, snow plowing, snow removal and snow storage. Once the first significant snowfall or severe temperatures are predicted and the temperature falls below twenty-five degrees, no sleeping will be allowed on the Government Center plazas between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am. At that time, all portable toilets will need to be removed and the canopy will come down.

Someone said that "severe temperatures" means -4C (25F), but we are already below that mark this morning. We are told that this directive will be enforced this weekend, even though the county commissioners will not vote on the measure until Tuesday.  Every part of this prohibition stinks of First Amendment violation.  They're also insisting that we remove all signs.

I've already ordered my body bag to put around my sleeping bag to keep it dry from precipitation.  It will work much better than a tarp, since tents are still disallowed on the property.  I've worked out the text that I intend to place on a poster that I will place by me as I (illegally, it seems) sleep on the public grounds this weekend.

You Think A Tent In Winter
Is Neither Political Protest
Nor PROTECTED SPEECH?

Then What Do You Think About
BODY BAGS?

Why Did Our Government
Become So COLD Hearted?

#OccupyWINTER
OCCUPYMINNESOTA.ORG / MINNEAPOLIS

I hope that I can fit the whole message onto the poster board that I bought.  I also hope the county has issued a tough message not because they intend to go through with eviction but because they hope to make us "blink".  We're not blinking.  In my small group at tonight's general assembly meeting, we agreed that we want to fight to stay.

Meanwhile, I also hope that we can find a nearby location to use for logistics so we could keep donations, kitchen, and other supplies stored there.  The plaza makes a great place to convene, rest, and meet each other, but an indoor location for storage, food, and water seems very practical.  The problem, of course, is finding the location.

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