Occupy Fort Lauderdale's residency in Wilton Manors was a bit short-lived.
After the Downtown Development Authority informed protesters it was going to close Bubier Park in Fort Lauderdale from 2 to 6 a.m. and ban tents and tarps from the park, the group picked up and moved to Equality Park in Wilton Manors.
Then came an email yesterday from the executive director of the Pride Center at Equality Park saying they support the movement but they can't let the group set up shop at their place.
Here's the email Occupy Fort Lauderdale posted from Executive Director Paul Hyman:
Thanks for your message. I've obtained information that results in our not being able to continue to host the Occupy Fort Lauderdale group on our property, beyond this afternoon. I realize this is inconsistent with my previous statement about the group's being able to remain here until tomorrow.
Here's why: our property insurance agent indicates that Occupy Fort Lauderdale's presence is deemed a "civil commotion" by our policy and is not covered. So even though we are not charging any fees /rent to the group, should anyone be hurt either by an outside attack, by each other or otherwise, we have no liability coverage for your presence here. Additionally, our certificate of occupancy with the City only allows for operations that occur within the two buildings that we occupy. Certain exterior areas are zoned 'light industrial', therefore they are not available for use until our master planning process and rezoning are completed.
The work of the Occupy movement, and that of Occupy Fort Lauderdale, is highly consistent with our mission. Over time, we would be happy to support the group in other ways-- with the use of interior space for specific events, outreach support--as we do other community groups. However, the exterior 'base camp' will need to be discontinued, by the end of business today--no later than 6pm.
We are honored to have provided very short-term assistance, since yesterday. And we respect and support your efforts to raise awareness of unworkable economic and social conditions in our community.
The Pride Center at Equality Park
For now, the occupation is homeless, although the general assembly meetings will be held daily back at Bubier Park.
The next demonstration for the group is planned for Saturday at 11 a.m. starting outside Fort Lauderdale's federal courthouse.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.