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  • Occupy D.C. Protesters Flee Camps Amid Cold Weather, Rat Sightings

    The tents still occupy two parks in Washington, D.C., but there are fewer people living in them as protesters with the Occupy movement flee for warmer quarters.

    The desertion of the Occupy D.C. is fueling class divisions within the movement among “those who can’t go home again and those who chose not to,” according to the Washington Post. Homeless people flocked to the parks this fall and are now apparently among the few remaining.

    One of them is Blair Rush, a 41-year-old homeless woman interviewed by the Post. She told the newspaper the encampment began to empty once the weather turned cold and protesters returned to their homes.

    Health conditions at Occupy D.C.’s two locations, McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza, are on the rise as a result of the brisk winter weather. According to the Post, there are “increased sightings of rats nestling under pallets strewn with sleeping bags.” Hypothermia is also a growing concern of D.C. health officials.

    Despite these problems, the National Park Service has granted protesters a permit through February to maintain a “24-hour vigil” in D.C. That decision came after House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) revealed protesters destroyed $400,000 in sod, a project funded by President Obama’s stimulus.

    The local police union last week blamed the ongoing Occupy protest for a sharp increase in violent crime in Washington, D.C. Fraternal Order of Police Chairman Kristopher Baumann said violent crime is up by 13 percent since the Occupy D.C. protest began as police officers have been pulled out of local neighborhoods and reassigned to the protest instead.

    Leaders of the Occupy movement dismissed concerns about the weather and the hardships facing protesters. Organizer Kevin Zeese, a former aide to Ralph Nader and past U.S. Senate candidate, said the activists were relocating to houses so they could gear up for expanded activities in the spring.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Occupy D.C. Protesters Flee Camps Amid Cold Weather, Rat Sightings

    1. Bobbie says:

      “increased sightings of rats nestling under pallets strewn with sleeping bags.” YUCK!! are you sure they weren't protesters? wonder how much this "occupation" pays? doesn't really promote healthy living conditions. these poor protesting people have severely damaging mind-sets! Hopefully they have some compassion to invite the homeless who's population aided in their protest, to their heated overnights…

      ps leaders making accommodations and favor in this area of costly, non productivity, certainly denies motivation or incentive in being productive members of society.

    2. hunrodr says:

      What houses? Foreclosed homes? Vacant bank-owned? Are they trespassing/homesteading?

    3. Stirling says:

      These "tent cities" are comonplace in a lot of European Cities, and to the Tour guides are a point of embarrasement when they explain the squaters these groups have become to the popular sites. The problem explained is that they "gum up" the legal system to the point at which nothing can be done, and sponge off the communities which they enhabit. This in turn adds to the crime (pan-handlers, pick-pockets, etc) and take up emergency resources which would normally go to more important duties. OWS is just the same dance replayed in the US that has gone on for years in other socialist countries..

    4. Russell L Smith says:

      Excerpt from of the BRACE Character Profile® of the Occupiers of the Occupy Wall Street Movement (OWSM) [75 items, each rated on a 5-point scale from a low of 0 to a high of 4]:

      52. Is disorganized, wasteful, easily distracted, neglectful, careless, easily influenced by others, poor work ethic, and fails to meet responsibilities accordingly. Rated 4

      Rationale: This description fits a majority of the Occupiers. They certainly display a deliberate disregard for public and private property, leave a mess, contaminate the places they occupy, demonstrate a poor work ethic and fail to meet their civic responsibilities.

    5. carol,az says:

      Rats spreading disease throughout Europe called the Black Plague , killed off half of the population of Europe during the Middle Ages.
      The biggest blow coming from D.C and described as a " movement" is the "Occupiers" according to this article, who "can't go home" or "won't".
      The rest, jumping ship as fast as they can in DC as the ship is seen to be sinking along with our do nothing Congress inability to make decision.
      Certainly every Mayor in every American city has the power to enforce the public space laws .
      This is not news it gossip.

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