Occupy Louisville Facing Potential Eviction January 2nd [Opinion: Arena]

Print

Occupy Louisville has done its best to remain well behaved while exercising the group's first amendment right to protest.

It has acquired permits for the encampment, and has been open to meetings with metro works, built a relationship with former LMPD Chief White and even followed the rules when visiting Louisville Metro Council.

Suddenly, it seems, none of that matters to the government officials who have the power to issue a permit to Occupy Louisville.

Occupy Louisville has attempted over the past four weeks, to secure a permit for 2012. Most metro employees with the power to issue such a permit seemed rather positive about the chances of Occupy Louisville to renew the park permit when it expires on January 1st, 2012. 

Friday morning at 10:00a.m., a meeting with several Occupy Louisville protesters, Metro Works and LMPD occurred at the Occupy Louisville encampment. Occupy Louisville was not told what the meeting would entail before it transpired. 

At the meeting, protesters were told that the permit the group has for Founders Square, located at 5th & Muhammad Ali Blvd, will be renewed, with one stipulation. Occupy Louisville is no longer allowed to have tents of any kind, thus ending the encampment. 

Essentially, this is an eviction notice for the camp, which has a functional kitchen, security tent and media resource tent where protesters can access the internet and organize onsite. Most tents onsite are heated, and nearly every camper has an electric heater to help keep them warm at night.

This group consists of many people who come and go, spending the night regularly, as well as protesters who have actually made Occupy Louisville their home. These individuals who have nowhere else to call home contribute to the encampment, are in charge of working groups and make regular decisions on the direction of Occupy Louisville.

Even the Louisville Coalition for the Homeless recently made a public statement about Occupy Louisville being a resource to the homeless. What is the city's plan for the many individuals who have nowhere to go if the encampment is dismantled?

This is a downright lousy move by the city of Louisville, without consideration for the protesters who don't have the privilege of a warm house to sleep in. 

Occupy Louisville holds a weekly work group meeting, at 5:30p.m. every Sunday. This Sunday, the topic of discussion will be what to do about this eviction notice from the city.

Occupy Louisville will meet again with government officials at a time and date that is not yet determined.

Image via OccupyLouisville.org

Louisville.com's The Arena section features opinions from active participants in the city's politics. Their viewpoints are not those of Louisville.com (a website is an inanimate object and, as such, has no opinions).