Police Commissioner distributes eviction warning to Occupy Providence!

UPDATED Friday 10/28 at 12:30pm: It now appears that the city will not use force to remove us from the park on Sunday.

From an occupier:

The Commissioner is here telling us that the police force will not use violence to remove us or our belongings after the 72 hour mark, that he will bring it to the court.

From the Associated Press:

Commissioner Steven Pare told WPRO-AM the city won’t “physically remove” the several hundred campers from Burnside Park and instead will seek to force them out “peacefully and civilly” through the court system. He said that could take several weeks.

Original post below:

WE MAY NEED YOUR SUPPORT! The letter below implies that the police will attempt to evict Occupy Providence from Burnside Park on SUNDAY NIGHT, 10/30. WE ARE STILL CONFIRMING DETAILS.

UPDATE AT 3:30pm: Here are scanned images of the eviction notice! Click to view full-size.

From an occupier at 3:00pm on Thursday, 10/27:

The Commissioner is here and has posted and handed out a notice stating (in part) “You are hereby notified that Burnside Park located in Kennedy Plaza, Providence, Rhode Island and every city park in the City of Providence is open 7 days a week, 7:00 am Eastern Standard Time to 9:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. Remaining in the park thereafter is illegal and the City of Providence will seek to enforce this ordinance and others that are listed below.”

It goes to name sections/rules and states that we have 72 hours to comply. There are individuals named on the letter, as well as John and Jane Doe. I have a copy, and they’re being posted on the fences as well by the Commissioner. Karen Ziner from Projo is here taking photographs.

From the Associated Press (check this link for updates to the article)

City letter warns Occupy protesters to vacate

RI State Wire
Published: 33 minutes ago

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – The public safety chief in Providence has delivered letters to local Occupy Wall Street protesters notifying them they are violating multiple ordinances by camping overnight at a downtown park and asking them to leave within 72 hours.

Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare dropped the letters off at protesters’ tents in Burnside Park Thursday. Mayor Angel Taveras has said the city is planning to take legal action to force the protesters out.

The activists started camping Oct. 15 without a permit. They vowed as a group to stay, though some have said they will leave if evicted.

The letter says Burnside Park is open only from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. It also lists another 10 regulations the city is seeking to enforce at the park. The ordinances cover littering, keeping off the grass, storage of explosive or inflammable materials, permitting and other rules.

Pare addressed the letter to 12 people and John Does and Jane Does.

19 thoughts on “Police Commissioner distributes eviction warning to Occupy Providence!

  1. Seize the opportunity to make a dot on the humanity’s history. Protect,defend & uphold the Constitution. This opportunity comes in a mask of too much confusion & fear but dissidents, humanitarians, visionaries, martyrs & vocationaries all too often waited for this opportunity to make their lifelong message to send across the horizons. This is a golden moment in our time to make our message be known to the world. That us human beings of the world have conquered our biggest enemy. Fear. The moment humans conquer fear , life is immortal…. Seize the moment….

    Courage & Endurance from your brothers & sisters of Occupy New Hampshire. We are that strong!

  2. A suggestion –
    Get the media down there and tell your story. Do it as soon as possible.


  4. What about sleeping overnight at the city-owned triangular patch of land bordered by Exchange Street, Exchange Terrace, and Memorial Boulevard? As far as I know, it’s not officially a park, so the Board of Park Commissioners doesn’t control it, and the 9 pm park curfew shouldn’t apply. It’s 0.56 acres (Parcel ID 01901200000) and it’s right next to Burnside Park. You guys could migrate back and forth between that location (which is also highly visible) and Burnside.

    You could certainly try to keep camping at Burnside 24/7, and argue in court that the First Amendment trumps the 9 pm park curfew. But it’s pretty well-settled law that reasonable “time, place, and manner” restrictions on free speech are constitutional, as long as they’re content-neutral and apply to all protesters equally. I could definitely see the courts (especially in RI) saying that allowing park protests until 9 pm but not overnight is a reasonable time/place restriction, linked to valid municipal concerns about park use, blah blah blah.

    But maybe shifting to this adjacent location makes more sense? Do you guys want to spend your time and energy testing the limits of the First Amendment in court, or instead keep the focus on the goals of the 99% protest itself?

    Another option – if the city is claiming that the park is off limits from 9 pm to 7 am, what if you guys were to shift over to nearby sidewalks and other pedestrian walkways, plazas, etc. when 9 pm approaches, sleep there, and then just head back into the park early the next morning? (Like the wide sidewalks right in front of City Hall.) The city ordinances seem to allow protesters 24 hour access to “footwalks, sidewalks, and parking lots.” (I assume that means city-owned parking lots.) Section 16-13 of the city ordinances says that in general people can’t obstruct sidewalks or “hinder or delay passers-by,” but then it goes on to say that “the preceding paragraphs shall not apply to individuals who are exercising a right to protest; however, in no event shall there be less than three (3) feet of unobstructed sidewalk access at all times.” So, since sleeping and camping outdoors in downtown Providence is part of your politically protected free speech message, you can camp on the sidewalks overnight as long as you leave three feet between you and the curb. The sidewalks don’t shut down at 9 pm like the park does. Just a thought . . .

    • I second the good advice from Russ Smith, above. Don’t allow the movement to get sidetracked into a court battle over the proper interpretation and application of what are/are not reasonable limits on free speech. Keep the focus on the goals of the 99% movement!! Make the reasonable accommodation of moving to the adjacent lot after park hours, and returning in the morning.

      Some people just love a conflict, and are foolishly looking forward to a confrontation with the police. Don’t listen to them. The way for this movement to be successful in achieving societal change is not to make enemies of the Mayor and Police, or even “the 1%,” but to make them allies by showing them the way out of a system that is unjust and dehumanizing. The system is the enemy, and it’s the system that shapes people’s behavior and supports the injustices that we are trying to shine a light on. Fight the system, not the people caught up in the system.


  5. Pingback: The Occupation and Public Space — Greater City: Providence

  6. I’d tell them to take their ‘regulations’ fold them until they are all corners and stuff them up their asses.

    I mean, what part of the 1st Amendment, or Article 1 Section 21 of the RI Constitution do these jackasses not get?

    And they’re not going to use the police to kick you out, but use the courts instead? Remember what I mentioned above because that trumps their stupid regulations.

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