Occupy Fort Lauderdale Vows To Fight Rule That Keeps Them Out of Plaza Overnight

Rule restricts access to city hall plaza between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m.

By Brian Hamacher
|  Wednesday, Nov 23, 2011  |  Updated 10:54 AM EDT
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Occupy Fort Lauderdale on Nov. 23, 2011.

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A day after the City of Fort Lauderdale passed a rule that would restrict access to the plaza outside city hall where members of the Occupy movement have set up camp, group members said they won't be leaving.

In letter posted on Occupy Fort Lauderdale's website, the group said the city had requested it's removal from the plaza by 5 p.m. Wednesday, and that "some members had vowed they would peaceably resist and face arrest."

City spokesman Chaz Adams said Wednesday that there was no 5 p.m. deadline, though the city was instituting a rule that would keep the plaza closed from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Adams said the new rule was put in place due to "unhealthy, unsafe and unsanitary conditions," including a lack of restrooms, running water, electricity and security.

"The main reason is because the area is not conducive to overnight activity," Adams said. "I will say it's a very reasonable and common sense rule."

Adams said protesters would be welcome to gather at the plaza the other 19 hours of the day, but didn't say what will happen if some refuse to leave at 2 a.m.

"We will cross that bridge when we come to it," Adams said.

Occupy Fort Lauderdale said they're discussing the situation with legal advisers.

The group's "occupation" of the area began earlier this month, but their numbers have dwindled to what Adams called a "light turnout."

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