Friday, March 30, 2012

Police shut down Occupy Kansas City encampment

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Unlike in other cities, the local Occupy camp went quietly.
  • Unlike in other cities, the local Occupy camp went quietly.

Starting at about 11:45 this morning, members of the Kansas City Police Department and cleanup crews descended on the Occupy Kansas City encampment in Penn Valley Park and began to dismantle it. The action was hardly the chaotic raids that Occupy sites in Oakland and New York endured. Almost an hour after the eviction started, it appeared to be nothing more than a determined shooing. Police allowed camp dwellers to take their tents and belongings, while crews in body suits loaded couches, hay bales and other debris into dump trucks.

City communications officer Dennis Gagnon said the reason the city chose Friday to evict the occupiers is simple: Summer is coming. "When you see that the weather has warmed up, it's time to get things seeded, it's time to get things ready to go. We couldn't put it off any longer," he said, as a man broke down his tent a few yards away.

"The parks are booked for lots of things," he added. "If you take a look at the grass and things like that, they need a little bit of time to get some grass seed growing and get things back into shape."

The population of the encampment had dropped in the last couple of months, down from more than 60 residents when The Pitch wrote about it last November. Gagnon estimated that when police showed up today, there no more than five people in the tents.

Earlier this week, Occupy KC protesters said they believed that they were the longest surviving Occupy encampment in the country, having stood for 182 days.

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