Chris Steller
Minnesota Independent
April 25, 2009

Chanting “End the Fed” and “Audit the Fed,” about 75 protesters marched around the Federal Reserve Bank in downtown Minneapolis today to kick off a three-hour rally. It was the third protest at the Minneapolis Fed since U.S. government bailouts of the financial industry began last September.

The demonstration was one of 40 across the country that the End the Fed organization planned today at branches and offices of the Federal Reserve Bank. When the group held a similar protest at the same site on Nov. 22, a “Ron Paul Revolution” plane flew overhead.

But event organizer Melissa Hill told the Minnesota Independent the action is all on the ground today, with speeches and chants in the plaza in front of the Fed as well as a raucous parade around the bank’s riverfront headquarters.

[efoods]Jordan Jelinek of Bloomington (in the foreground at left), a Tea Party protest veteran, said today’s gathering shared a message with the April 15 events: “Power to the people.”

Carrying a sign reading “Abolish the Federal Reserve System,” Jelinek said he “never really thought of myself as a protester until the socialist agenda of both Bush and Obama.” Government should leave people alone so they can engage in free trade, he said.

Government’s lack of control over the Federal Reserve was the main gripe of protester Matthew Caldwell of St. Louis Park. As an instution, the Fed, he said, is “not even quasi” governmental.

Like Jelinek and others at the rally, Caldwell supports a bill by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (HR 1207) to require an audit of the Fed. (Jelinek said the bill now has 82 co-signers including Minnesota Republicans Eric Paulsen and Michele Bachmann. He didn’t mention Democrats Keith Ellison and Collin Peterson, who opencongress.org also lists as co-signers.)

Caldwell missed the Nov. 22 End the Fed protest but attended an April 15 Tea Party, where he said Fox News’ hype had attracted followers of “Glenn Back, Sean Hannity, Fox News” who “co-opted” the event.

End the Fed is associated with Ron Paul but it’s an independent and non-partisan group, Hill said, noting that she had spread the word about today’s event via alternative outlets such as Indymedia.

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