Broward News

Occupy Fort Lauderdale Picks Civil Obedience, Caves to City's Rules and Takes Down Tents

Civil disobedience (noun) 1. "The refusal to obey certain laws or governmental demands for the purpose of influencing legislation or government policy, characterized by the employment of such nonviolent techniques as boycotting, picketing, and nonpayment of taxes."

That's what Occupy Fort Lauderdale didn't do.

After losing the challenge to a city rule that required the occupiers to remove their tents from City Hall, Occupy Fort Lauderdale decided to show its defiance of government by packing up their tents and removing them from the property.

A judge temporarily blocked the rule requiring the removal of the tents after a request for an injunction was filed by a lawyer on behalf of the occupiers on the afternoon of November 23, but they came out losers after a court hearing on Friday.

The city argued the location of the tents at City Hall was in violation of the American with Disabilities Act and also raised sanitation and emergency-response concerns, in opposition to the occupiers' free-speech claim.

The ruling was that the tents had to go by 6 p.m. Sunday.

After raising some hands, possibly invoking some sparkle-fingers, the occupiers decided they'd comply with police and take down the tents so no one had to get arrested.

According to a statement from the group, the Fort Lauderdale cops showed up Sunday evening, and the occupiers tried to be cute by attaching the tents to ends of poles and hanging them in the air.

The cops informed the occupiers that it's still a tent even though it's attached to the end of the pole, and the occupiers responded by removing the tents from city property.

They're still hanging out at City Hall, but not everyone's too happy about the decision to comply with the city's rule.

"Some occupations end with a bang, some with a whimper, ours ended with a puke," one person posted on the group's Facebook page.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley