Oct 10, 2011 7:53 PM by Stephanie Collins

Challenges of "occupying" Colorado Springs around the clock

The Occupy Wall Street movement continues to grow, including right here in Southern Colorado. Occupy Colorado Springs is now a 24-7 operation, but after their first weekend of camping out they've hit a major snag, the city's no camping ordinance.

They set up tents for the first time last night at the corner of Tejon and Bijou near Acacia Park, but this morning police told them they had to take them down, "They did say that they've gotten a few complaints from the tents and that city ordinance dictates that if you're using it as a shelter it's considered camping," says Greyson Curnutt with Occupy Colorado springs.

Camping within city limits violates an ordinance put in place last year, to put an end to the homeless tent cities, "If you're setting up bedding in the park; whether it's a tent, sleeping bag, or newspaper over your face, then we got a problem. That's where the camping ordinance comes into effect," explains Sgt. Steve Noblitt with CSPD.

Occupy Colorado Springs says they have the right to protest and occupy, and they plan to continue their around the clock operation. From here both officers and protestors say they'll be working together to agree on a plan that follows city ordinance, "This group has a message and they have something that they feel is important to them and we want to respect that," adds Sgt. Noblitt.

"Were all adults here, were all a part of this. We can do this in an adult manner, without it getting blown out of proportion," adds Curnutt.

The protestors say they've set up a meeting with both the police department and the city attorney to discuss what they want to do and what they're allowed to do. Right now officers say they recommend that the group works in shifts; they say as long as they're awake and not camping out, they aren't violating the ordinance.

Occupy Colorado Springs now has nearly 900 followers on Facebook, click here to check out their page and learn more about what they're doing.



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