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  • As Deadline Passes, NPS Waits to Enforce 'Occupy' Camping Ban

    The noon deadline for Occupy DC protesters to clear out their camping gear came and went today. By mid-afternoon, National Park Service police had declined to move in and enforce the law.

    Far from clearing McPherson Square, the hub of the protest’s Washington activity, occupiers draped a large blue tarp over the statue of General James McPherson, which sits at the center of the park.

    For months, the Park Service had insisted that occupiers’ overnight presence at the park – which appeared to be a violation of statutes prohibiting camping on federal land – was protected First Amendment expression. The House Oversight Committee explored the issue in a hearing last week, during which NPS defended the position. But as Scribe noted last week, the Supreme Court has already weighed in on the issue, and ruled that camping is not a protected activity under the First Amendment.

    Authorities at McPherson Square told protesters and the many members of the media in attendance that occupiers were “definitely not in compliance,” in the words of one NPS officer.

    Park Service spokesman Sgt. James Schlosser said that NPS would be enforcing the camping ban, but declined to say when. That was at about 1:30 p.m. By 3:30 p.m., police still had not moved into the park to enforce the ban (though they did conduct a pair of walk-throughs). The sense among protesters was that police would wait for the sun to go down before moving in to enforce the ban.

    In preparation for the impending police operation, occupiers loaded moving trucks with belongings, which they said were bound for the AFL-CIO’s Washington headquarters. The union has provided extensive support for the group, allowing them to bathe in their building, and even taking out Internet advertisements to promote the protests.

    Below is a picture of the NPS order requiring that protesters clear all camping equipment from the park and leave at least one side of every temporary structure open.

    Posted in Featured, Ongoing Priorities, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to As Deadline Passes, NPS Waits to Enforce 'Occupy' Camping Ban

    1. Andy says:

      I worked for the Park Service for almost 30 years. The job attracts multitudes of tree huggers. It is the most liberal of Government Agencies.

    2. chicagomatt says:

      Looks like another line in the sand needs to be drawn by our law enforcement officials to let the OWS crowd know that "NEXT time we're doing this for real".

      reminds me of when they tore down the tent city in L.A. …the police threatened with a date, and then it was pushed back. they put up flyers and made announcements for three days beforehand; but when the deed was finally done, the compliant news media had interviews with some of the Occupants who claimed that they "…didn't have time to get our stuff. the bad, bad po-po just came and ripped everything down. boo hoo"

      and then sprayed for lice.

    3. Name says:

      Boohoo Lachlan.

    4. Brand Names says:

      Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your site? My blog site is in the very same area of interest as yours and my users would really benefit from some of the information you present here. Please let me know if this alright with you. Thanks!

    5. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Let's see. The National Parks Service is a government agency. Government agencies are controled by Obama and his lackeys. Obama supports the occupy movement. Any questions?

    6. Chris in N.Va. says:

      Not ultra surprising considering the recent linguine-spined government testimony of the U.S. Park Service commander who was more clearly hyper-concerned about the potential (re: violent) reaction of the temper-tantrum-prone protesters rather than in the Park Service police doing their sworn jobs of enforcing crystal-clear regulations/laws, laws whose similar violation by folks like you or I (not so officially "approved" by the Dems/Libs in power) would result in our becoming instant "guests" of a local jail cell.

      Let's get to the polls in November and ensure that the Dem/Lib chickens come home to roost.

    7. hubcab says:

      Its a sorry day when law enforcement agencies let themselves be fooled into becoming law breakers.

    8. Dinah L. says:

      Do you remember the story of the camel and the tent? That camel took over here the first time OWS camped in a place that was not to be used for camping by the rest of us–and got away with it. Why did that happen the first time? Giving in a little is never the end to something like OWS. They will just take more. Who on earth would think it is OK to just take over a building, just because it is empty? I know homeless people have been known to do that, but I'm not so sure they think it is OK; they just think it is expedient. They aren't allowed to stay either, once it is common knowledge they are there. Once again it is the rule of law that is getting trashed, not just our parks.

    9. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Today the WH stated they didn't want to infringe on the OWS 1st Admendment rights, I want to know WHEN DOES FREE SPEECH ALLOW OR RESSPSSING?? All D.C. Parks have signs about over night stay, the Parks belong to the Public and are provided for through taxes. Free speech and the right to peaceful assembly does not give theright to take over Public park land, therefore keeping others out and the cost to repair and return to their once beautiful condition falling on the shoulders of taxpyers. Liberals say this is the same as the Tea Party gaterings, WRONG, The Tea Party NEVER occupied property by foce and stayed for months, tea party had permits and Tea arty cleaned up after their meetings and gatherings.

    10. Chuck from Virginia says:

      Tear gas does a great job in circumstances like these, folks. . . And it should be used. These punks are sponsored by the unions, who don't hesitate to use violence, so give 'em some of their own medicine.

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