Police end after-hours occupation of social sciences building

University police forced protesters to leave the building late last night, due to complaints.

Ashley Aram

University of Minnesota police told a group of protesters occupying the social sciences building on the West Bank Thursday night to leave or face arrest.

The group, which consists of mostly students and faculty, came together Monday at the social sciences building in a protest theyâÄôre calling âÄúUMN Solidarity.âÄù They are speaking out against numerous University and regional issues.

University police Deputy Chief Chuck Miner said the after-hours occupation was stopped because of complaints about how they were using the space, and this should not have come as a surprise to participants. He said protesters were cooperative and police did not have to arrest anyone.

 âÄúWeâÄôd been talking with them throughout the week and the message was that this was not going to be allowed to continue indefinitely,âÄù Miner said. âÄúWe allowed them to stay there three nights when the building was closed. The University decided that should no longer be occurring, so we were asked to remove them from the building.âÄù

One protester, Elliot Hughes said police told the group they could stay, âÄúThen at midnight they raided us with eight police and said that we had to get everything out in ten minutes or else we would be arrested.âÄù

According to Hughes, the late-night eviction was a tactic planned by the University to get rid of the demonstrators.

âÄúToday weâÄôre having some meetings and actions in response to this,âÄù he said.

The groupâÄôs website lists a variety of demands, including reduced tuition and fees, the right to peacefully occupy space at the school and that the University respects the rights of all workers to organize and to earn at least a living wage.

Some of the activities theyâÄôve held while occupying the building are âÄúTransgender 101âÄù workshops, âÄúPeople PowerâÄù workshops and yoga classes.