Officers prepare for 'Occupy Minnesota' protest

Security issues at a protest scheduled for Friday in downtown Minneapolis have the Hennepin County Sheriff's office preparing for the demonstration.

Organizers say the demonstration will be similar to the "Occupy Wall Street" protests currently going on in New York. Occupy Minnesota plans a gathering on Friday on the plaza in front of the Hennepin County Government Center, 300 S Sixth St, Minneapolis. They say they're planning for a long-term occupation of the plaza in front of the Hennepin County Government Center.

Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said his office is reaching out to the protest organizers.

"We're going to approach it very optimistically. We've certainly seen what has been on Facebook and some of the social media. We appreciate their right to free speech," Stanek "We want to make sure, like I said, that it's orderly and safe, both for the folks who come down to participate as well as the general citizens around."

The Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York have been calling for changes to the US financial system, immigration enforcement, corporate governance and financial institutions. Others have called for student loan reform and political change. The protest has gained traction and supporters in Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago, and demonstrations are also planned in Maryland, Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico and Iowa.

Protests in Manhattan have been going on for weeks and resulted in more than 700 arrests over the weekend.

The Hennepin County attorney's office is researching whether organizers will need a permit for the protest.

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