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Occupy Indy protesters ordered to clear out camp

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State officials gave Occupy Indy protesters 24 hours to remove their tents, sleeping bags and other camping accessories from the Indiana Statehouse lawn and warned there could be arrests Thursday should anybody resist the efforts to remove the items.

The Department of Administration ordered the handful of remaining protesters to clear out in a letter delivered Wednesday afternoon.

The state ordered the protesters to clear out "all personal property, including tents, sleeping bags, and tarps." Anything left will be removed Thursday and taken to a Department of Sanitation parking garage.

Protester Adam Horter, 21, of Westfield, said his first feeling was "fury" after a state worker delivered the orders to protesters. ACLU Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk, who has provided advice to the protesters, said he was still reviewing the letter.

Department of Administration Commissioner Rob Wynkoop said he conferred with state police over the last week and had become concerned about the safety of the protesters and anyone visiting the Statehouse.

He emphasized protesters would be able to stay as long as they want, just without the camping equipment and other supplies they have assembled over the last few weeks.

"They are welcome to be there; it is their right to peaceably assemble," he said Wednesday.

Protesters said the order was not about their safety but about stifling their demonstration.

"They're coming up with everything they possibly can," Greg Lambert, 52, of Indianapolis, said of the administration.

The state says protesters will be allowed to continue their demonstration around-the-clock — just without the camping chairs, food and other camping accessories the small group has collected over the last five weeks.

Police in New York and Oakland cleared out large encampments of protesters this week. But Indiana's occupy protesters and police have been much more subdued since the Indianapolis demonstration started last month.

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  • First Amendment Rights
    I'm all for the rights granted in the first amendment. I was part of the antiwar movement in the 60's. So, I don't need a lecture from those that think they have a license to behave. There is a big difference between saying what you want in a free society and demanding the "occupation" of a public facility to create chaos and unhealthy conditions.

    Feel free to protest away, but if you want to occupy, try your back yard.
  • 1st Amendment Rights
    This is really a shame, and feels like the early stages of a police state to me. How does taking away tents, chairs, tables, coolers, etc solve anything? It doesn't. It just puts more unnecessary burden on the occupiers. While probably "legal", it's definitely a heavy handed approach to discourage those choosing to exercise their first amendment rights.
  • Say what? BerwickGuy
    Let me repeat my earlier comment: "There is something going on here and you don't know what it is, do you Mr. Jones."
  • MPA2000
    Your comment is so irrational it is laughable. Same people? Same situation? The differences are obvious. Protestors in China were those for democracy. Protestors here are those for socialism.

    Back to classroom for you, dude.
  • You need a plan
    Sitting around isn't protesting anything, sitting in parks isn't protesting either. In order to protest you have to have goals, ideas...A PLAN! You have to take concepts of protests in the past and present and hone them to today's ventures.
  • Welcome to Amerika
    Funny how the same people who applauded the protestors in Iran and China, are condemning those who protest here.

    USA=Iran=China.
    • Say what? Torch
      "There is something going on here and you don't know what it is, do you Mr. Jones."
    • Chase 'em off
      Fun's over. Get out and get jobs, ya bums.

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    1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

    2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

    3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

    4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

    5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

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