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Planned demonstrations prompt State Capitol to close to the public

The security fence is back up.

A security fence is back up around the Minnesota State Capitol and the building will be closed to the public ahead of at least two upcoming protests. 

In an alert to State Capitol building tenants, the Minnesota Department of Administration on Monday said it is expected to be a "very busy week" for events on the Capitol grounds, with "multiple days of events with thousands of attendees."

The Department of Administration said it is temporarily closing the interior of the State Capitol "as a public safety precaution," noting the short-term closure is at the request of the Minnesota State Patrol "to protect the public and those working at the Capitol in anticipation of large demonstrations this week. 

The events will be held as expected, the public just won't be able to go inside the Capitol building.

The security fence, which was erected at the State Capitol in the wake of George Floyd's murder by police, was taken down in June. It was put back up this week ahead of the upcoming demonstrations.

Line 3, anti-mask protests planned

There are at least two large-scale demonstrations planned for the State Capitol grounds this week: those who oppose Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline replacement project have a few days of demonstrations planned and people who oppose mask mandates are set to protest on Saturday. 

The Treaty Not Tar Sands event began Tuesday morning with Indigenous grandmothers from the White Earth Nation marking a four-day ceremony. The ceremony will include tipis across the Capitol lawn and a rally from 2-5 p.m. on Wednesday. 

Activists and water protectors are calling on President Joe Biden to stop Line 3, saying Gov. Tim Walz's administration has failed to act. 

Then on Saturday, there is a medical freedom event from noon to 3 p.m. at the State Capitol. Prior to the rally in St. Paul, anti-mask mandate protesters will be standing outside the State Fair with signs in support of the end of mask mandates.

There's also a march and rally for voting rights from 4-6 p.m. on Saturday, which is part of a mass mobilization to demand elected officials to denounce voter suppression and ensure fair, easy access to voting for all. 

There are a few other events planned this week at the State Capitol. You can see the calendar here

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