SUBSCRIBE NOW Just 99¢ for your first month



Minnesota Capitol closes ahead of pipeline, COVID mandate protests

The measures came as groups opposing Line 3, masking and vaccination requirements, and others prepared to rally at the Statehouse.

Minnesota officials on June 1, 2021 began to take down a non-scalable fence that has closed off the state Capitol in St. Paul from the public for more than one year. Sarah Mearhoff / Forum News Service
We are part of The Trust Project.

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Capitol building is set to remain closed and access to its grounds heavily restricted ahead of a set of demonstrations there this week.

The Minnesota Department of Administration on Monday, Aug. 23, announced that it would temporarily restrict public access to the Capitol building at the request of the Minnesota State Patrol ahead of large demonstrations on the Capitol grounds.

Several groups had protests and rallies scheduled on the state's public event calendar including a Wednesday "Firelight Camp Walk to the Capitol" aimed at drawing opposition to the construction of the Line 3 replacement pipeline in northern Minnesota. And on Saturday, separate groups are set to demonstrate against masking and vaccination requirements to limit the spread of COVID-19 and in favor of voting rights.

State troopers guarded the doors of the Capitol early in the week and erected barriers to the streets leading up to the building. They also erected a fence blocking access to the building. Members of the public are still able to access the Capitol grounds.

The increased security measures come after the Capitol was shut down to the public for more than a year due to COVID-19 concerns, and later out of concerns for the reactions that could come following the murder of George Floyd. Until earlier this summer, a chain link fence blocked most Minnesotans' entry to the Statehouse.


Follow Dana Ferguson on Twitter @bydanaferguson , call 651-290-0707 or email

Dana Ferguson is a Minnesota Capitol Correspondent for Forum News Service. Ferguson has covered state government and political stories since she joined the news service in 2018, reporting on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the divided Statehouse and the 2020 election.
What to read next
If signed into law by the governor, the legislation would prohibit life insurance, long-term care insurance or disability insurance carriers from declining or limiting coverage to living organ or marrow donors.
Lawmakers on Wednesday tried to flesh out details for several spending bills at the Capitol ahead of a legislative deadline.
Two civil suits, filed in Faribault County District Court on Monday, May 16, 2022, allege that Rep. Jim Hagedorn asked his mother and stepfather, as well as his sister, to help pay for the cost of his cancer treatment and that money has not been paid back by his widow, Jennifer Carnahan.
The GOP-led chamber on Wednesday voted down a procedural motion to pull a bill out of committee and up for a vote on the floor.