There have been a number of articles recently about the Occupy Fort Myers protestors “camping out” in Centennial Park without first obtaining a Special Event permit from the City as required. The Fort Myers Police Department began issuing citations last night to those refusing to abide by the city’s rules and leave the park at 10:30PM.
Code Section 58-153 Recreation Activity Restrictions in a City Park
No unauthorized person in a park shall:
(3) Set up tents, shacks, or any other temporary shelters for the purpose of overnight camping. No person shall live in a park beyond closing hours in any movable structure or special vehicle to be used or that could be used for such camping purpose, such as a tent, house-trailer, camp-trailer, camp-wagon or the like.
Those that accepted the citations were actually allowed to stay, even though they may be violating other code sections for Park Hours, Loitering and Sanitation. Now Occupy Fort Myers is suing the City in Federal court for what it claims is a violation of the movement’s rights to freedom of expression.
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