LANSING (AP) – Mayor Virg Bernero says Michigan’s capital city won’t let the local Occupy Wall Street affiliate stay in a downtown park as it did last year.
Lansing “learned a lot last year” from the presence of Occupy Lansing members camping out at Reutter Park, Bernero chief of staff Randy Hannan told Mlive.com. “It’s problematic and it’s expensive,” Hannan said. The city estimated that last year’s protest cost Lansing $20,000.
This year, Hannan said Lansing won’t give Occupy Lansing another waiver of the 10 p.m. park closing rule.
In October, Bernero gave Occupy Lansing a permit to stay in the park and provided police protection, bathrooms and trash services. The protesters remained at the park until December.
Occupy Lansing supporters showed up at the park Saturday and were told to leave at 10 p.m. Two were ticketed when they remained.
Bernero personally spent hours attempting to persuade the Occupy Lansing protesters to leave the park, WLNS-TV reported.
Bernero “is a strong ally of the movement, and he would like them to be successful,” Hannan told the Lansing State Journal. But he said the mayor would like to see the activists move on from occupying to taking direct action toward accomplishing their goals, Hannan said.
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