Hennepin County Sheriff's officers tore down several tents early this morning that had been erected by Occupy Minnesota demonstrators on the south plaza of the Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis, the sheriff's office confirmed.
The protesters, who are demonstrating for economic equality, placed several tents made of transparent plastic in the plaza Saturday afternoon, despite a ban on structures there.
Ben Painter of Minneapolis said he was sleeping in one of the tents when, at about 1:30 a.m., more than three dozen sheriff's officers arrived to remove the tents.
Painter said he and about 70 other protesters formed a circle around the tents, but the officers dragged them away and took the tents down.
"It was pretty civil, other than the fact that they came at 1:30 in the morning, we were in the middle of sleeping," he said. "I was shivering half to death. I couldn't stop shaking, because I've never been arrested and I didn't want to be arrested at all."
No one was arrested in the incident.