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Occupy MN protesters defy sleeping ban in Minneapolis

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Occupy MN protesters asleep
Occupy MN protesters asleep at dawn outside the Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis on Tuesday, Nov. 15.
MPR Photo/Elizabeth Dunbar

Several dozen Occupy MN protesters woke up on the plaza of the Hennepin County Government Center Tuesday morning, despite orders from county officials banning sleeping in the area.

The plaza has been the site of an ongoing protest that started Oct. 7, part of the larger anti-Wall Street protests that began in New York City. 

Kim DeFranco, of St. Paul, has been part of the movement since it started, and slept on the plaza in downtown Minneapolis Monday night.

"We went on a march and came back, and invited people to have a sleep in. So there were many people that stayed after with their sleeping bags," she said. "Some slept on the plaza, and others stayed up. And then we weren't bothered by the security guards, or the sheriffs, at all. So no one was arrested, none of our stuff was taken. So it was a very peaceful night."

In New York City last night, Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered camped-out protesters to be cleared from Zuccotti Park. Similar actions have been taken in Portand, OR, and Oakland, CA.

Hennepin County authorities didn't immediately respond to inquiries about their plans to enforce the new regulations. DeFranco said that protesters are planning for alternative demonstrations if necessary.