Thu October 13, 2011

Hick: Protesters Can't Camp in Park

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper says Wall Street protesters camped out near the state capitol cannot continue staying in the state-owned park overnight.  It's the latest move in the growing standoff between protesters and authorities.

Joined by Colorado Attorney General John Suthers and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, the Governor sent this message to the protesters at a news conference in the Governor's office today.

"They can’t continue to stay there overnight," Hickenlooper said.  "The public health issues, public safety issues, continue to grow."

The Governor visited the protesters and the camps this morning.  He says he is respectful of their right to free speech, even saying he sympathizes with some of their causes. 

But Hickenlooper and the Republican Attorney General said state law simply prohibits overnight camping from 11 PM to 5 AM.  It’s not yet clear whether authorities will try to forcefully remove the protesters tonight.