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Friday, November 11, 2011

Occupy Burlington Vermont Shut Down

Occupy Burlington Vermont Shut Down

“A gun, drugs, alcohol -- and now one man dead are putting an end to the tent city in Burlington's City Hall Park.” - Ordinance Violations + Death = No More Occupy In Burlington

By Dell Hill

The occupy Burlington, Vermont camperee is about to end.  At least the sleep-over part, complete with a small tent city, is ending.  The details from WCAX TV, Burlington.

“Police are putting an end to the tent city inside City Hall Park. The move comes after one man died from a gun shot wound at the park and authorities say protesters ignored a series of city ordinances.

A gun, drugs, alcohol -- and now one man dead are putting an end to the tent city in Burlington's City Hall Park.

"Right now we don't give a dam about our tents, we want our movement to go on. It is about our brother, it is about us standing together," said Emily Reynolds, an Occupy Vermont participant.

On Thursday 35-year old Joshua Pfenning died from a gun shot wound, suspected to be self-inflicted, inside a tent at the Occupy Vermont Camp in the park.

"The presence of structures and tents, we believe, now creates an enhanced risk by virtue of the activity that can and is occurring inside them," said Burlington Police Chief Mike Schirling. Chief Schirling says he's working with protesters to return remaining tents that are currently roped off as part of the crime scene connected to the shooting. "This risk cannot in our estimation be managed by either the encampment facilitators or police under current circumstances," he said.

Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss and Chief Schirling say they're working with protestors to ensure their rights to be in the park, while keeping an eye out for the public's safety.

"I think it is a national event addressing issues around economic and social justice, I think we can all reflect on," Mayor Kiss said.

Chief Schirling says his department has no plans right now to beef up staff in the park in anticipation of future problems.

Reporter Keith McGilvery: "Why not just clear these tents out today?"

Chief Mike Schirling: "Primarily because provoking a conflict is something that we have sought to avoid since day one, so the best way to solve most problems, whether they are this kind of scenario or we are in a crisis situation with someone who is holding hostages, is to negotiate."

So far Occupy participants have had little to say about what the elimination of their campsite will mean for their movement.  A group held a vigil Friday at 5 p.m. at the park paying tribute to Joshua Pfenning, the 35-year-old military veteran that died Thursday.”

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