|Norton Urges an Occupy DC Response that Preserves their Message and Respects NPS and D.C.|
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), a veteran of civil disobedience campaigns and a former First Amendment lawyer, today said that she hopes Occupy DC demonstrators will respond to the National Park Service (NPS) notice that it will begin enforcing camping regulations Monday “with the same respect and civility that NPS and the District of Columbia have shown to Occupy DC.” Norton, who defended NPS at a House hearing on Occupy DC last Tuesday for its approach, which has avoided the constant flare-ups and violence around Occupiers elsewhere and respected First Amendment rights, said that NPS had shown great consideration for Occupy DC and even now says it will allow the tents that carry out the basic Occupy message to remain. The Congresswoman said at the hearing that Occupy DC has often responded well to criticism, including self-policing against violence and picking up trash.
“A split within Occupy DC now would be difficult for the public to understand, since Occupiers are not being evicted,” Norton said. “If some resist the enforcement of the camping ban, they could reinforce critics who see them as young people on an adventure and could destroy the unity of their message against income inequality, which has captured the country and changed the conversation in Washington."
Published: January 29, 2012