The National Park Service essentially served an eviction notice Friday afternoon to Occupy Wall Street protesters inhabiting Washington, D.C.’s McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza.
The occupiers have until noon on Monday, Jan. 30 to clear out camping materials and make sure that any remaining structures have one side open. If they do not comply, they face arrest or property seizure by U.S. Park Police, the notice reads.
The “long-standing” Park Service regulations ban camping and the use of temporary camping structures. The rules have not changed, but the Park Service allowed the protesters to live in the parks since last fall.
The Park Service is not characterizing the order as an eviction, but rather a prohibition on camping, but the enforcement will make it more difficult for the protesters to sleep in the parks.
“People can be there 24 hours a day, but they can’t live there, they can’t sleep there,” Park Service spokeswoman Carol Johnson told MSNBC.com.
Washington Mayor Vincent Gray recently told The Daily Caller that he has become “increasingly concerned about the health conditions in McPherson.”
The eviction would bring to a close the movement’s longest occupation and one whose relationship with Washington has deteriorated since The Daily Caller reported that some protesters turned violent outside a Koch brothers event last November.