Press Release – Occupy Bethlehem
On 12/8/2011 at approximately 12:05 a.m. members of the City of Bethlehem Police Department, in cooperation with personnel from the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, disassembled and removed the structures and other debris that has become known as the Occupy Bethlehem encampment.
This clean-up event occurred over one (1) month after Occupy Bethlehem were advised they needed to obtain a permit for their activity as they were relocating to the area next to the library, and almost a week after they were provided written notification reminding them they were in violation of ordinances.
Although the City has been very patient with the members of this organization, they have knowingly and deliberately decided to continue ignoring any and all requests from the City for them to adhere to our ordinances. These requests have been clearly communicated verbally and in writing.
All three (3) people who were present during this clean-up process gathered some personal belongings and left the area.
Property that appeared to be personal in nature such as tents and their contents was transported to an indoor storage facility. Arrangements will be made for the release of the unattended property to the owners.
It has been made clear to Occupy Bethlehem members that the City has no intention of prohibiting free speech. The erecting of tents and semi-permanent structures on public property is not permissible without first obtaining a permit.