Monday, 7 November 2011

#OccupySLC Camp At 147 South State And The Police

Today I did not think I would be writing extensively about Moon Base Alpha, as I've affectionately dubbed the #OccupySLC camp on the vacant lot across from the Fed branch office where the Radio City Lounge used to sit. I stopped by both Base Camp at Pioneer Park and the newer offshoot, which began as an action in front of the Fed and established a camp at the lot when snow fell and the protesters were not allowed to erect shelters where they had been legally protesting.

At almost the exact moment I stopped by Moon Base Alpha, I was informed that a man identifying himself as a property manager had approached multiple campers and asked them to leave. When asked who he represented, he gave the campers a business card, and informed them he represents the vacant lot's owner, and had called the police.

Pretty quickly, two police officers showed up. One of them asked me to leave the property, so I moved to the sidewalk:

To his credit, he told me momentarily that until we figured out the situation, I was free to move closer and film, which I did.

Seth, one of the #Occupants, proceeded to have a conversation with him:

At this juncture, a series of Tweets I had sent out (yes, I have one of those awful things  here  ) elicited a response from Jesse Fruhwirth, who told me he had contacted Salt Lake Police Lt. Ross, who was on his way. This was the case:

As soon as things calmed down a bit, we were informed that both Chief Burbank and Mayor Becker had been contacted about the situation, the parent company (in Georgia?) was being contacted, and the police had to confer. They did so:

We then got word that the order to leave had been verified by the company and those camping on the vacant lot at 147 South State had "until morning" to leave. Supporters had shown up (thanks, Social Media!), and there was a discussion, the contents of which I will divulge at much greater length after they have been properly hashed out.

By which I mean: tonight there will be a Town Hall at the Downtown Public Library, starting at 7:30 PM MST (but it would be a good idea to come early). I'll post more as I know more.

Lastly, the media showed up, which was good of them, but there wasn't a lot to film (just background footage for a later report, I'd imagine):

Tomorrow morning might prove more eventful.

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