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"The sign suggests that some of us don't support our troops."
An Occupy supporter in Little Falls, Minnesota, is demanding that a "We Support Our Troops" sign be removed from a building in her hometown. The woman, named Robin Hensel, is taking this combative action after city officials told her she needed to remove an excessive number of signs and posters that were once present in her frontyard.
According to officials, residents are only legally allowed to display one sign on their property -- a city code that Hansel takes particular issue with. So, in response to the city's code enforcement, she has set her sights on the pro-troop sign, which she says also violates local code.
In an interview with KSTP-TV, Hensel said that her original posters were merely "promoting ideas that promote peace and justice" and she lamented the city's crackdown on them. The posters took particular aim at the U.S. government and the War on Terror.
"If good people that are passionate about their causes don't find a platform to be able to speak out freely in a peaceful kind of way -- we're in trouble," she said.
Once she was forced to remove her signs, she found other ways to display her messaging. Rather than posting signs in her front yard, she has now posted them all over her van, on the windows of her home and she has erected a ladder with the one permitted sign she can have on her front yard. It reads, in part, "Occupy the Dream."
Of the town's "Support Our Troops" sign, she says that city code requires both a permit and approval from the city's historic preservation committee. Hensel says that the banner has neither and, thus, it should be taken down. But her issue with the mural transcends the mere code violations.
"The sign suggests that some of us don't support our troops," she says. "The truth is -- we all do -- through taxation."
Others, though, disagree with her stance.
"It's patriotic for our country," one local man says. "We should have it up."
City officials plan to take up Hansel's complaints about the banner at the next city council meeting on Feb. 6. On Martin Luther King Day, Hansel organized and took part in a local "Occupy the Dream" event, as she has continued to support the anti-Wall Street movement that took form last September.
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