Taking a stand: A week's worth of Minn. Capitol demonstrations

Politics Nikki Tundel Nikki Tundel · ·

1 Madelyn Nelson, left, Nicki Price, and Tama Chakrabarty cheer as Gov. Mark Dayton addresses the crowd outside the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn., on April 14, 2011. The students were among the supporters at OutFront Minnesota's Lobby Day for LGBT Equality. "We want to fight for equality in our school and in the community," said Nelson. "We're here to be part of the bigger community fighting for gay rights." 
2 Marjorie Holsten brought her pet pig Taylor Swine -- and her message to "Stop the Pork" -- to a rally sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots of the Twin Cities. The gathering was held in St. Paul, Minn., on the lawn of the State Capitol on April 16, 2011. Holsten says she worries about the future of the country and wants to see more politicians who support limited government and lower taxes. 
3 Members of Minnesota's Scottish heritage groups gather on the steps of the State Capitol in St. Paul on April 10, 2011, to celebrate Tartan Day. Tartan Day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish declaration of independence. Barbara Humphrey, a member of the Minnesota Tartan Day Cooperative, says "It's important for us to be recognized at the Capitol and share our culture with all Minnesotans. We're not just all white bread here. We're also peanut butter and bacon and sauerkraut. And the diversity makes our country rich." 
4 Jim Pennino spends his lunch hour on April 13, 2011, on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul. "We have an economic system that benefits the rich," said Pennino. "And we don't have enough politicians who believe in a fair economy." The Stillwater resident protests at the Capitol every Wednesday. He says he's "basically ignored by legislators. But, as little as it is, I don't think I could feel good about myself if I didn't do something." 
5 Art Hefferman displays his 1933 Plymouth in front of the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn., on April 12, 2011. He joined other members of the Minnesota Street Rod Association for the group's annual rally on the mall. Over the years, the MSRA has pushed for legislation ranging from an ethanol mandate exemption for collector vehicles to a law permitting the use of blue-dot taillights on street rods. "We need to keep an eye on things that would affect our hobby," said Hefferman. "Every year there are things some crazy fool tries to pass. We want to remind them we are here and we vote." 
6 Lori Mylan was among those calling for limited government at a rally of the Tea Party Patriots of the Twin Cities at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul on April 16, 2011. "This country needs to change," said Mylan. "It's a disaster right now." 
7 Elementary school students line up to enter the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul on April 13, 2011, as Mike Meoli silently protests. Meoli supports the legalization of medical marijuana in Minnesota and legislation that would allow the state's farmers to grow industrial hemp. "I don't know how much I'm accomplishing," said Meoli. "Legislators don't talk to me. But other people who see me give me lots of support." 
8 The Farmers Insurance Mobile Command Center Claims Bus parks in front of the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul on April 13, 2011. The vehicle travels to disaster sites across the country to aid communities in need. But on this day its goal was to draw attention to Farmers Insurance Group Day at the Capitol. "I encourage agents to meet with their legislators," said Farmers Government Affairs Representative Elaine Love. "We need to be visible. If you aren't at the table, you'll be on the menu." 
9 Tahsha Jackson participates in the "Tax the Rich Rally" on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn., on April 15, 2011. "I believe in standing up for what I think is right," said Jackson. "I don't have a problem with people being rich. But when you take from the poor, when politicians cut services to the poor, then I have a problem." 
10 Bob Werner, dressed as a primate, mingles with the crowd at OutFront Minnesota's Lobby Day for LGBT Equality at the State Capitol in St. Paul on April 14, 2011.