WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Occupy DC Stays Put, Judge Clarifies Terms Of Camping Ban

Play associated audio
The "tent of dreams" that Occupy DC erected over the statue of General McPherson in McPherson Square Monday.
Armando Trull
The "tent of dreams" that Occupy DC erected over the statue of General McPherson in McPherson Square Monday.

Update, 5:00 p.m.: At the Occupy DC encampment in McPherson Square, protesters say they will let Park Police take down the giant blue tarp, known as the "tent of dreams."

The protesters had draped a tarp over the statue of General McPherson in the center of the park in response to the National Park SErvice decision to begin enforcing no-camping regulations. During a meeting this afternoon, the Occupy protesters agreed that while they wouldn't take down the tarp themselves, they wouldn't block the police from doing so.

The day has been relatively quiet at the Occupy DC camp -- there have not been any major actions by Park Police to evict or arrest anyone, although there was some commotion late this afternoon when an individual ran up to the giant tarp and started cutting the strings that were holding it in place. The person was chased off and later taken away by Park Police in a vehicle. It was unclear if he was arrested.

Other than that, proteters in the park say they are staying put despite the no-camping ban.

Update, 12:00 p.m.: A federal judge has told the National Park Service and the U.S. Park Police that they cannot seize the tents at McPherson Square or Freedom Plaza unless people in those tents are violating anti-camping regulations or breaking other laws.

In addition, the National Park Service cannot close McPherson Square or Freedom Plaza absent an emergency without prior notification and a written justification of why those closures are deemed necessary. However, the U.S. Park Service can move into either encampment at any time and make arrests of those who are in violation of those regulations.

Original Story: The Occupy DC encampment in McPherson Square is still in place, looking exactly as it did yesterday and two weeks ago despite a National Park Service ultimatum that the protesters decamp by noon yesterday. 

The only difference in the camp now is draped over the statue of General McPherson is a huge blue tarp with yellow stars and the words "Tent of Dreams." Underneath that tent scores of Occupy DC protesters slept early this morning, defying the no camping order. They say they will remain in place until they are forcibly moved by the U.S. Park Police. 

The protesters are also going to court again today to argue against the no-camping ban. 

"From my understanding what they're going to be arguing is that under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, the police don't have the right to seize our property and they do not have the right to arrest us for being in a public space and not committing any real crimes," says Sam Jeweler, one of the Occupy DC participants. 

In addition, the protesters are taking issue with categorizing what they are doing as camping, Jeweler adds. "To phrase what we're doing as camping is really dismissive of the fact that there are people who rely on the shelter here and the food here to survive," he says. 

U.S. Park Police have said they will enforce the ban against camping on the square, but they will do it incrementally.


Christopher Marlowe Credited As Shakespeare's Co-Author On Henry VI Plays

True authorship of Shakespeare has been debated for centuries. Now, the New Oxford Shakespeare edition will list Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe as co-author on the three Henry VI plays, part one, two and three. NPR's Robert Siegel talks with Florida State University professor Gary Taylor, one of the general editors of the new volume.

2,500 Years Ago, This Brew Was Buried With The Dead; A Brewery Has Revived It

In an ancient burial plot in what is now Germany, scientists uncovered a cauldron with remnants of an alcoholic beverage. They teamed up with a Milwaukee brewery to re-create the recipe.
WAMU 88.5

Do Hyper-Local Term Limits Work?

Montgomery County residents are voting this fall on term limits for their local council representatives. Are they picking up on lessons learned from Prince George's County?

WAMU 88.5

AT&T’s Proposed Acquisition Of Time Warner

AT&T’s bid to acquire Time Warner: Join us to talk about what the proposed merger of the country’s second-largest wireless carrier and a major content company could mean for consumers and the future of U-S media and telecommunications.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.