DC to Occupy: No More Camping

The National Park Service will enforce rules beginning Monday
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2012 5:31 PM CST
Occupy DC protesters watch morning commuters walk through McPherson Square in Washington, Monday, Dec. 5, 2011, a day after U.S. Park Police arrested demonstrators.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – One of the Occupy movement's longest-standing camps will soon no longer be a place to lay your head: Occupy DC protesters will be banned from camping in the two parks they have occupied since October as of noon on Monday. The National Park Service has alerted the demonstrators they must stop camping in McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza, both blocks away from the White House, reports Reuters. There are as many as 100 protesters currently living in McPherson Square.

The protesters won't be scrubbed from the parks entirely: The two locations can still be used for "24/7 demonstration vigils," and "symbolic temporary structures, including empty tents used as symbols of the demonstration" are still OK, so long as no one is actually living in them, the Park Service explained in a flier. Earlier this month, Washington, DC's health chief complained about the explosion in the rat population at the two Occupy camps, whose conditions he said reminded him of refugee camps in Africa. (Read more Occupy DC stories.)

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