City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

November 8, 2011
Occupy Sacramento will expand to lawns of City Hall

The Occupy Sacramento movement is expanding its presence - right on to the front lawn of City Hall.

Protest organizers have moved some of their operation to the lawns and walkways around both the old and new City Hall buildings, starting with a tent. City Hall is across I Street from Occupy Sacramento's base in Cesar Chavez Plaza.

Organizers of the group said they should be allowed to remain at City Hall because the site is not a park. So far, protesters have been arrested for failing to leave a park during closure hours.

City officials planned to enforce the city's anti-camping ordinance and arrest protesters who remained on City Hall property overnight, said Amy Williams, city spokeswoman.

The expansion plan is being announced the day after city officials told lawyers for Occupy Sacramento that an application for a special use permit allowing demonstrators to remain in Cesar Chavez Plaza would likely be denied.

James Combs, the city parks director, told organizers that extending park hours in the plaza for the demonstration "is not consistent with the sound use of park resources, will not enhance recreational activities in the city, and may be detrimental to the public safety or welfare."

A copy of the city's letter can be read here:

Letter to Mark Merin dated 110711.pdf

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at rlillis@sacbee.com

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