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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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