The Battle Intensifies: Stories from Summer 1999

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AntiNote: As the first installment in our reflection series on the Minnehaha Free State (MFS), we present a handful of edited excerpts from Elli King’s 2006 people’s history of the encampment, Listen: The Story of the People at Taku Wakan Tipi and the Reroute of Highway 55.

In case you missed it, please read our introduction to this series here.

We are picking up the story at a particularly tense juncture, almost exactly fifteen years ago. The following three testimonies deal with events over two days in late July, 1999: the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s first successful attempt to break ground on their still legally precarious project (with extensive police protection), the Free Staters’ attempts at resistance, and a street blockade the following day to protest the state’s violent and destructive actions—which itself was met with more violence.

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