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.