Facebook Link: http://www.facebook.com/OccupyOrlandoFL
I drove by again after work to check on everyone in the park. In spite of the bad weather last night, everything looked calm, cool and collected. The same small tight-knit group was still there. There were more tents in the park, but other than that the park was still clean.
While I was there I noticed the crew were creating larger tents just across the street from the Chamber of Commerce in an open field, next to the former location of WDBO's studios. From what I could gather the city park rules stated that no structures could be setup in the park. Were the tents considered structures? Only if they were staked into the ground. While I was there the Occupy Orlando media group moved the media tent from the park to the vacant field.
The use of capricious and trivial rules to make it difficult for the "non-conformists" in this little city reminded me of what Orlando did to the activist anti-poverty group Food Not Bombs. They passed an series of ordinances for the express purpose of keeping Food Not Bombs from feeding the homeless in Lake Eola. In the end, after the city arrested 27 activists for feeding the homeless, Buddy Dyer allowed Food Not Bombs to feed the homeless in front of city hall. While it's not the ideal place because there are no restrooms or running water near city hall, Food Not Bombs at lest can keep the issue of homelessness in the public eye.
I sincerely hope that moving to the vacant lot, which is private property, will allow Occupy Orlando a better chance for long-term occupation. I don't know what deal Occupy Orlando struck with the property's owner, but I can't believe they would simply move over without some kind of agreement. Occupy Orlando has been very careful to stay within the law. I've come to respect the group on many levels, not the least of which is there strong desire to stay within civilized boundaries. In spite of what the haters of this world say, they're not anarchists.
And I hope this guy keeps showing up. I like his messages.
A full link to all Occupy Orlando entries in this series: http://blogbeebe.blogspot.com/search/label/OccupyOrlando