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Occupy Tucson to set up camp at DeAnza Park
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Occupy Tucson to set up camp at DeAnza Park

City: Occupiers face arrest if they stay after park closes

  • A small group of Occupy Tucson members set up a few tents and an information table at DeAnza Park on Thursday.
    Dylan Smith/TucsonSentinel.comA small group of Occupy Tucson members set up a few tents and an information table at DeAnza Park on Thursday.
  • Occupy Tucson members are forced from Viente de Agosto Park on Dec. 22.
    Dylan Smith/TucsonSentinel.comOccupy Tucson members are forced from Viente de Agosto Park on Dec. 22.

Some Occupy Tucson members plan to regroup at a city park when they put up tents and plan to sleep at DeAnza Park, the group announced Thursday.

"We've never really gotten an opportunity to engage with the community in the way we've envisioned," said Dave Croteau, one of the Occupiers who will be sleeping in the public park at Speedway Boulevard and Stone Avenue.

"We've planned teach-ins and around the clock activities this time and we welcome the neighbors to come see what we're about," he said in a press release.

Under threat of arrest, Occupiers were evicted from Viente de Agosto Park by the city on Dec. 22 after 48 days at the park. About 100 people removed tents and personal belongings that night.

A city spokesman said the Occupiers will not be allowed to camp in DeAnza.

"When the park closes, TPD will move in and ask them to leave. If they don't, they will be booked and arrested, and their property will be placed in the property room at TPD," said Michael Graham of the City Manager's Office in an interview.

"We'll basically follow the law and the rules of the park," Graham said.

The group said three neighborhood associations in the area around DeAnza Park were contacted about the plans: West University, Feldman, and Dunbar Springs. West University's Board of Directors showed no opposition and Feldman and Dunbar Springs both voted in support of the Occupiers, said Ethan Beasley, an Occupy Tucson member.

"Rather than being chased out and treated as criminals, Occupiers would likee to help meet the needs of the community and work to find solutions to the home foreclosure crisis," Beasley said in the release.

"We're grateful that the Tucson Police Department hasn't reacted violently to our presence, but we have to have a physical space to gather, to share our concerns, and to explore althernatives that will work for all," said Occupier Sherry Mann, in the press release.

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