Occupy Tampa challenge police orders to leave and win, for now
As we reported yesterday, on Tuesday evening Tampa Police officers asked members of the protest group Occupy Tampa to abandon their 24-hour-a-day protest or risk arrest for trespassing. But After challenging the orders, protesters remain.
On Tuesday Tampa Police cited city code 22-8, an ordinance banning the obstruction of streets and sidewalks. However, the Occupy protesters made the case that, despite their sleeping bags, there was still plenty of room on the wide sidewalk outside downtownâs Curtis Hixon Park for pedestrians to get by. After consulting city attorneys and a police official, the protesters prevailed. This is Rugh Cline, a legal liaison between Occupy Tampa and the city.
In contrast to some cities Occupy protests are taking place, Cline says Tampa police have been largely pleasant and respectful despite misunderstanding the law.
"It seemed like the officers did not know the law they were trying to enforce. ..."
Now that the threat of arrest is out of the way, Occupy Tampa protesters say they intend to stay indefinitely. Samantha Bowden is a USF student and organizer with Occupy Tampa.
Bowden says, despite some apparent confusion about what the protest is all about, the grievances of the movement are clear.
Occupy Tampa plans to join other cities across the country this weekend by holding a large general assembly meeting Saturday morning in downtownâs Gaslight Park.
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