Occupy Davis announced on Facebook today that they will begin round-the-clock occupation of beginning Saturday at 10:30 am. They voted unanimously to do so at their last meeting. Here is the remainder of their statement:
For the indefinite duration of this occupation protesters will erect tents temporarily during the day to symbolize a reclamation and occupation of this space, and will hold a fire watch vigil in shifts throughout the night. Planned activities include presentations of music and art, teach-ins, non-violence trainings, craft-ins, knit-ins and marches.
The Davis Municipal Code says this about camping in parks:
No person shall camp in any park, except in areas as established by the city. Camping is defined as erecting a tent or shelter, or arranging bedding, or both, for the purpose of, or in such a way as will permit remaining overnight. This section shall be applicable to camper-type trucks, camp-trailers, and other similar conveyances. (Ord. 1011 § 2; Ord. 1877 § 1)
The Facebook statement suggests that the tents will be taken down at night, so they appear to be within the limits of the code. And even if they weren't, Lt. Paul Doroshov said that the department approaches everything on a situation-by-situation basis.
"Our job is to keep the peace and protect people," he said. "Our actions are dictated by the actions of the protestors. We evaluate the situation based on the overall circumstances."
Police response to such occupation efforts has varied throughout the country. Some have allowed it while others have gone to the extent of raiding camps.