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Five Minneapolis council members show up to defend Near North homeless encampment

The city notified the camp that it planned to clear it away Tuesday

Out of the pitch-black predawn, dozens of heavily bundled activists assembled on North Girard and 2nd Avenues in Minneapolis to shield the residents of the Near North homeless encampment from imminent disbandment. They brought wagons laden with hand-warmers and McDonald's sandwiches, and built fires from scrap wood as they watched for dump trucks and skid steers.

Among them were five City Council members, four of them newly elected. City Council Member Robin Wonsley Worlobah had put out a call on social media the day before, asking Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey to suspend all encampment evictions until the city comes up with a policy of closing encampments humanely, and only after all residents are housed.

"To destroy peoples' homes with nothing more than a list of possibly underfunded and overwhelmed resources in the midst of a Coronavirus surge while temperatures are routinely below zero is inhumane," she wrote, calling volunteers to join her at the camp at 6 a.m. Tuesday.


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