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City Turns Off Electricity To Occupy Bloomington Camp

The city turned off the electricity to People's Park on Wednesday morning because it says the outlets were becoming a safety hazard.

Occupy Bloomington protesters will have to find a new heat source after the city shut off power to People’s Park today. Officials say the occupiers’ use of electricity is becoming unsafe.

The city of Bloomington turned off the power on Wednesday morning in People’s Park, where Occupy protestors have been camping for more than a month.

Bloomington’s Director of the Parks and Recreation Mick Renneisen says the electricity in the camp was becoming a safety hazard.

“Because the breakers have been tripping on a regular basis and a variety of extension cords and outdoor wet conditions have given us concern for safety, we are just not going to continue to keep the power on to protect the participants from any harm that might be caused,” he says.

Occupier Whitney Blake says the camp has only brought to light problems the city has previously failed to remedy.

“This park is not completely safe you know but that is not Occupy’s doing that’s something that’s been deep seated by the lack of our system taking care of the people for a very long time and we’re trying to help with that,” she says.

Occupy protestors will now be forced to find other ways to cook and heat their camp. According to city code, open flames are not allowed in the park but demonstrators say they have butane and propane tanks that should help them last through the winter.

The city says it is not planning any more crack downs but has already told the Occupiers they must maintain sanitation requirements. Occupiers say they have received a donation for portable toilets and plan to bring them into the camp as soon as possible.

  • Mad Catter

    City parks are not meant to be campsites.  Camping should not be allowed PERIOD!  It ruins the parks for the people who want to use them for their intended purpose.  Taxpayers should not have to pay the electricity bills for those plugging in for “free” electricity either. Nothing in life is free.  Somebody always has to pay.

  • http://twitter.com/golconda2 Chad

    “Nothing in life is free.  Somebody always has to pay. ” Tell that to the 1%!

  • ShesSoLovely

    What IS the “intended purpose” of a park? Who says this is not the intended purpose–the use of a public space by the public? Rather, we should just walk through it, but not use it? That doesn’t make a bit of sense. Public space is exactly that, public. We as a society believe that NOT everything in the social world should be private (at least, not yet, and I hope never). The public and the community should make use of that space in ways that benefit the common good, and the Occupy movement does exactly that. 

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