umnsolidarity

University of Minnesota Solidarity Network

Reflections on the Eviction from an Occupier

I was out running errands with other occupiers when the building officially closed at 11, and was not planning to return until after midnight. The cops had come at the usual time to take our ID, and had given no indication that they would kick us out, so I thought I would be staying another night. As they told us later, they were already planning to evict us, but decided not to tell us until an hour after the building closed (they did not explain why they did this, except to say that it allowed them to get their forces together). So we were away and unconcerned when, probably around midnight, we got a call from an occupier telling us that something was happening with the police. Shortly afterward, we learned that the occupation was being evicted.

We immediately began calling around to see if we could find a legal observer, knowing that we wouldn’t be back for maybe half an hour. However, we had difficulty finding anyone at midnight on short notice; this also prohibited any kind of solidarity action outside the building.

We arrived probably after 12:30; people were finishing the removal of our things. Many people had left belongings there, and some things (like the food) belonged to the whole group. Eight or so police officers and four security guards were supervising us and hurrying us along. Two of the security guards were videotaping everything; afterward they told us that this was in case anything went wrong, e.g., if we resisted or the police treated us badly. We gathered outside and tried to gather as much information as we could, including the badge numbers of all officers present; however, some of the officers drove off in cars without stopping for us, even though we clearly wanted to speak to them, and we had to plan on trying to get the information later. We received some other relevant information: the police gave us a statement from the administration, which was posted on our blog, and we learned a little about the circumstances under which the order was given. After this we retreated to the Terrace Room in Middlebrook Hall to de-stress and plan for tomorrow.

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