OccupyMN protesters say they're going to start erecting shelters on the plaza outside the Hennepin County Government Center this weekend, despite a ban.
"We're going to put tents up on Saturday," said protester Adam Greeley, of Minneapolis, who says he serves as a security guard for the demonstration. "We made a decision to get tents going on Saturday and go with that," in the hopes of drawing more supporters to the site.
Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek initially said the county wasn't going to allow tents as part of the OccupyMN demonstration, and protesters continued to meet with him about the issue. A sheriff's spokeswoman said she wasn't aware that that county had changed its position on its ban on shelters.
A few dozen of the protesters are camping out at the site in sleeping bags and bedrolls. One of them, Jason Oliver, has been there for the last week. He said that demonstrators are preparing for a long-term occupation of the site.
"A lot of people have been coming and contributing their time during the day, and when they can at night," he said. "We're also looking at putting up tents, and there's a possibility of getting a big tent up, and that would bring a lot more people down."
Organizers said in a statement Friday morning they were planning to present petitions to Hennepin County authorities asking them to lift their ban on shelters. They also said they were training participants today for possible arrests.