Oct 20, 2011

Tents can stay for now....at OccupyKC

The point of the evening bringing cheers was announcement at GA (the sunset General Assembly meeting)  that the Mayors office had granted a reprieve from tent removal for the time being. The 40-50 occupiers  were told there would not be the expected removal or arrest over tents tonight and for an undefined period. Police had earlier told group members that empty tents would be taken downtown sometime after midnight Thursday, and occupants would be ordered to remove theirs under penalty of arrest -- but that is on indefinite time hold. 
Several people said the police who have been patrolling the area have been gentle and supportive of the group and one said she felt police didn't want to arrest anybody at the encampment.

Further discussions with the mayor's office are expected and group members leading suggested occupiers and supporters call the major's office to urge for continued reprieve, and to reduce or waive any fees normally required for renting the park space. 
An attorney pointed out that tents don't constitute free speech and she warned that tents and other loose property could be inspected by police. There is a prominent sign at the encampment urging "No alcohol and no drugs".  There have been active signs this group wants to stay on good terms with both police and the city's Parks and Recreation Department which has charge of Penn Valley Park.
It was also announced at the GA that the Lawrence encampment would be closed by law enforcement after 11pm at an occupation going on in one of that city's public parks.  A representative from that encampment urged KC occupiers to join them Thursday night for a show of support.  UPDATE: Reportedly the Lawrence encampment was NOT closed down.  (Maybe they're deciding that its better politically to be tolerant, like NY Mayor Bloomberg has been)
The large sculpture created out of overseas shipping containers, called the "IOU/USA" sculpture nearby has been taken down...all remaining now are a couple containers yet to be hauled away.  The sculpture has been considered a fitting backdrop for the encampment and there was more than a little disappointment that it was time for the sculpture to be removed.
Sunday, an all day set of educational and fun activities are planned at the Penn Valley encampment located at the entrance to Liberty Memorial's mall, and across from the Federal Reserve Bldg.  Occupy camps all over the country are putting on education programs this Sunday.
Things not so perfect at New York's Occupation...from Huffington Post
Events at Zuccotti Park, the epicenter of the Occupy Wall Street movement in Lower Manhattan, have become increasingly dramatic in recent days, as egos have clashed, visions competed, and the unity of the protesters has been questioned. 


No comments: