How Would Enforcing Camping Ban Affect Occupy DC Protests?


( – Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) asked National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis on Tuesday why the Park Service’s own statute forbidding camping had not been enforced as it applied to Occupy D.C. protesters at MacPherson Square.

“There’s a statute I believe that says camping is illegal. Camping in MacPherson Park is against the law. Is that correct?” Walsh asked Jarvis during a subcommittee hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that focused on why the Park Service had not removed the Occupy protesters.

“That is correct,” Jarvis said.

“And in fact, you, I believe the Park Service handed out a document early on in the Occupy D.C. process to the folks at MacPherson Park that … spelled out the definition of camping that you and I both agree is not allowed,” said Walsh.

“And it says…that camping is defined as the use of park land for living accommodation purposes, such as sleeping activities or making preparations to sleep, including the laying down of bedding for the purpose of sleeping or storing personal belongings or making any fire or using any tents or shelter or other structure vehicle for sleeping or doing any digging or earth-breaking. Mr. Jarvis, based on your own definition of camping, are they camping at MacPherson Park?” Walsh asked.

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