Last week Republican House members challenged the National Park Service and their choice to allow Occupy D.C. protesters to camp on federal land. The movement has formed its base at two national parks residing in the District in camaraderie with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Since their beginning in October, the movement has brought about a series of complaints from neighbors: a rat infestation, drug abuse, fights, public urination and the like. As a result, the NPS said Friday that the Occupy sites located at McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza must comply with their no-camping rules by noon on Monday, Jan. 30. The no-camping rules will force protesters to “remove all evidence of camping, including bedding, storage containers and anything used to make a fire,” with the threat of being arrested and/or having property seized. Let’s hope Occupy DC does not take a page out of the Occupy Oakland handbook of chaos! Check out this video describing the violent protest that took place this past weekend. But I digress…let’s head back to DC…
The 12pm deadline for Occupy D.C. protesters to evacuate their tents has passed with little police activity to write about. Prior to the deadline, protesters circulated handmade petitions to for police, found storage for their personal belongings, rallied together to await the increased police presence and basked in the spotlight the media was affording them. At 1:20pm, Park Police Sgt. David Schlosser held a briefing to assure the media that enforcement had begun, and will continue, but that no arrests have been made. In fact, quite the opposite has occurred as protesters at McPherson square had created a “Tent of Dreams” out of a tarp covering the statue of Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson. The large “tent” is “occupied” by protesters chanting “let us sleep so we can dream” both inside and out. Let’s hope the “Tent of Dreams” is the final tent erected as part of the Occupy movement this year.
Face it Occupy D.C. – it’s time to wake up, pack up and move out!
This post was authored by Laura Schaefer.