Occupy D.C. protesters face eviction today
Tents and bedding used for sleeping--things the U.S. Park Police said needed to go--remained in the Occupy D.C. encampments Monday night.
Park police began enforcing a no-camping rule at noon.
As noon approached, protesters placed an enormous blue tarp dubbed the "Tent of Dreams" over the statue in McPherson Square.
Sgt. David Schlosser, a Park Police spokesman, said the Park Police had begun enforcing the camping ban by reminding demonstrators of the regulation and encouraging them to pack up their stuff.
He said some demonstrators had already done so, although he didn't know how many.
He declined to discuss a timeline for eviction or whether officers would return Monday night or Tuesday morning, though he said the camping ban pertained not only to sleeping on the grounds but also to possessing bedding materials like blankets and pillows.
The National Park Service warned the protesters at McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza on Friday that those who violate the camping rule would be subject to arrest.
As of about 10 p.m. Monday, authorities had not made any arrests that day.
Protesters continued to chant: "Let us sleep so we can dream" at McPherson Square.
"I just came down here to see if anything has happened and it doesn't surprise me that nothing has happened," says Jerry Giordano, a Manassas resident.
Protesters have said they intend to stay at the two sites and defend their encampments.
"I intend to protect the people this order is intended to target,” says Joe Hill, Occupy DC protester.
The enforcement comes after a House oversight subcommittee hearing last week where Republican lawmakers questioned why the park service has allowed occupy protesters to camp for months on federal land.
Critics say it is high time the Park Service enforced rules against camping, saying Occupiers have turned McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza into disaster areas.
National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis said protesters have a right to be in the park and won't be evicted, but they will be encouraged to sleep elsewhere.
Monday's planned action comes just a day after a protester was shocked by a Taser after ripping down fliers telling Occupiers about the upcoming camping ban.
"I’m personally packed - I can say, personally, my stuff is all ready to go, says Camilo Brokaw, an Occupy protester.
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