[UPDATED: Santa Ana Police Respond to Camping Request] Occupy Orange County in Santa Ana Tomorrow

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UPDATE, OCT. 21, 7:50 P.M.:  The Santa Ana Police Department sent out a press release this evening stating that Occupy Orange County protesters won't be able to camp on city property. The release states that though the police will continue to work with protesters to ensure their first amendment rights are facilitated, the department regularly enforces and prosecutes violations of the Santa Ana municipal code as it pertains to public camping. See the bottom of the post after the jump for the entire release.
ORIGINAL POST, OCT. 21, 4:48 P.M.: The hour for occupation draws nigh. But it remains to be seen if activists with the Santa Ana contingent of Occupy Orange County will dig in their heels and set up camp in the downtown civic center. Noon tomorrow is H hour of D Day for the group currently standing in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, now in its second month residing in Manhattan's Zuccotti park.

Group members have voiced their plans to camp indefinitely in the Civic Center despite police officials threatening to arrest those in violation of the city's no camping ordinance. Posts on the group's Twitter feed have told people interested in attending to bring sleeping bags and tents.

This morning the Weekly obtained an email sent to Santa Ana Mayor Pulido and the city council on behalf of the movement requesting permission to camp overnight in Santa Ana's walk of honor. 

"Occupy Orange County hopes that the Santa Ana City Council will be interested in accommodating or working together with our movement to facilitate a peaceful and responsible group of actions in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street," it reads. "In order to have a protest that is effective, it is necessary to have a long term assembly in the public space and that requires that tents and camping gear must be allowed to ensure public safety."

Tomorrow's event is slated to begin at noon at Sasscer Park (near the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse) and will be followed by a march to the civic center. One of the events organizers, Sam Aresheh, has said the march, which will go through the downtown area, was designed to attract additional people from areas with heavy foot traffic to hopefully have a snowball effect.

The Santa Ana Police department has said they are drafting a press release in advance of this event. We will post it here as soon as it is available. In the meantime, spokesman Corporal Anthony Bertagna has said before the city can issue a permit for the group to camp, they will need to obtain an insurance policy. Cpl. Bertagna added the city is currently working with the group to help secure a policy. 



10-21-2011OccupyOC

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