In D.C., Occupy protesters have interpreted a new notice from the National Park Service as proof that their encampment’s days, too, are numbered, but they say they aren’t going anywhere.
The memo, released Nov. 23, states that U.S. Park Police officers will be increasing patrol activities at McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza “due to increasing problems of public urination and defecation, illegal drug and alcohol use, and assaults.” The memo also reminds protesters that camping is prohibited in both parks.
Last month, I visited McPherson Square, aka “Camp David.”
It's hard to believe that mess is just two blocks from the the White House. You get a sense of the doom and gloom as soon as you exit the McPherson Square Metro stop, which the homeless have occupied for years.
Truth be told, McPherson Square has long been a gathering place for the homeless. When I lived in DC, I avoided both the Metro stop and the park after dark.
If you're interested, the Park Service memo is available here.
That’s true, but you can evict people who refuse to accept the First Amendment allows “time, place and manner” restrictions. So overnight, Occupiers were given a clear message: You ain’t gotta go home but you gotta get the hell out of here.
What remained of their squalid encampment was cleared out.
Occupy Philadelphia is hanging on by a few dozen protesters.
With the number of “comrades” steadily dwindling, Occupiers have created a Google Doc to sign up people who “can commit to holding down the fort”:
Shifts are split into 4-hour blocks (but you can commit to a shorter time, if needed), with special colored boxes for members of working groups to sign up (e.g., we need at least one medic and rapid response person at all times). Everyone is welcome to write their name in any open space during a time they can come. If all the spaces in a given slot are full, you can still show up, but please consider filling out a less popular shift whenever you are able!
We hope this tool can prevent burnout from people staying awake for days or working 17-hour shifts. Please use it, share it, and even edit it to make it a better tool if you feel so inspired. Also, as this is a public document, there’s no reason to use your real name if you don’t want to.
The Occupy Wall Street movement/moment is livestreamed. It's now running out of steam.
On Friday, Mayor Michael Nutter ordered Occupy Philadelphia to “remove their possessions and themselves” from Dilworth Plaza by 5 pm yesterday:
And so now, I am announcing that as of 5 pm today everyone now encamped on Dilworth Plaza has 48-hours to remove their possessions and themselves from the project site, which will be fenced for the construction project and public’s safety starting some time next week.
Let me repeat: this announcement serves as we promised earlier a 48-hour notice to those on Dilworth Plaza to vacate the location completely and immediately.
While most have left, about 75 tents are still there.
At last night's General Assembly, Occupiers celebrated their defiance.
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld famously observed that “democracy is messy.” True that, but it's way past time for this mess to go.
Facing imminent eviction from Dilworth Plaza, Occupy Philadelphia General Assembly last night voted unanimously to break camp and move to Thomas Paine Plaza immediately. But they made their move too soon: they don’t have a permit.
Since they didn’t follow the process, the police ordered them to disperse and take their personal belongings back across the street.
By the time I got to the encampment, some Occupiers were milling about; others were discussing the situation during an emergency GA.
Occupy Philly is boxed in by Mayor Nutter who told them to “chill out” and a splinter group, the Reasonable Solutions Committee, which followed the process and applied for a permit. Reasonable Solutions’ application is under review. Nutter said he’s not going to choose a side so the two factions will have to work it out before a permit is granted.
Occupy Philly and Reasonable Solutions have until early next week to figure out a way to coexist at Thomas Paine Plaza. If not, they will be sent packing for good.