Eviction Deadline Passes for Washington Protesters

Posted January 30th, 2012 at 1:20 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. Park Police have let pass a deadline for anti-Wall Street protesters to stop camping at two public parks in Washington or risk arrest.

The National Park Service had warned demonstrators they could be arrested and have their property seized if they fail to adhere to the rules after noon local time Monday. But as the deadline passed, police failed to follow through on their threat and most protesters remained at the sites.

Protesters have been sleeping in the two parks a short distance from the White House since October, as part of the global Occupy movement against social inequality.

Last week, Republican lawmakers at a House subcommittee hearing questioned the park service on why protesters had been allowed to camp on federal land for so many months.

Fears of potential clashes mounted after police used a stun gun Sunday on one protester, who was arrested on disorderly conduct charges.

The deadline in Washington comes after police in Oakland, California, arrested some 400 anti-Wall Street protesters who attempted to occupy a vacant building.

The Occupy Wall Street movement began in September in New York. It says it represents the “99 percent,” the people outside the top 1 percent of wealth holders.