Protesters block vehicles at a Fort Snelling federal building housing immigration court

Published 8:10 am Thursday, August 1, 2019

By MPR News Staff

MPR News/90.1 FM

Several hundred people partially blocked parking lot entrances near the Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building at Fort Snelling Tuesday. They were protesting Trump administration policies on immigration.

Email newsletter signup

No injuries were reported, even though vehicles and protesters were close together at times.

After a few hours, Hennepin County Sheriff’s deputies cited protesters, many by choice. One deputy told the crowd anybody who “wants to be cited come with me.” One protester estimated there were around 20 citations.

The federal building houses the Bloomington Immigration Court. The protest was organized by Never Again Action.

One protester, Mia Freiberg, of Minneapolis, said “the cars tried very hard to push into us,” but she did not know of anyone who had been injured.

Barbara Jensen says protesters jumped on the hood of one car and lay in front of the vehicle. She says that was a mistake, even if she agreed with showing disapproval of the holding of migrants, including children, at the southern border.

Jensen said it reminded her of leftist protests in the 1960s and ‘70s.

“And we had the same problem which is we don’t pay enough attention to class. And blocking ordinary workers from getting out is a bad idea,” she said.

Jensen said protesters stopped blocking cars completely after some in the group told them to stop. The vehicles could exit another way.

MPR News reporter Matt Sepic contributed to this story.