Thursday, December 22, 2011


Due to an increasing number of public safety concerns at Veinte de
Agosto Park, Tucson City Manager Richard Miranda directed Tucson Police
personnel to deploy to the park yesterday evening to clear the Occupy
Tucson encampment. Occupy Tucson protesters have been camping in the
park since October, during which time the City has been enforcing the
10:30 p.m. curfew at the park by issuing citations to those in violation
and then releasing them.

However, the nature of the encampment has changed in recent weeks. The
City has seen an increased number of police calls to the park for
incidents such as assaults, public intoxication, and people in need of
mental health assistance. One incident was an aggravated assault which
involved a firearm; another was reported child abuse of a young female
minor. In addition to public safety concerns, the cost to the City has
been mounting in terms of Police and Court resources, along with damage
to the park that will require repairs to turf and irrigation systems. A
special events permit has been issued to Take Care Tucson for the use of
Veinte de Agosto Park for Wednesday, December 28, 2011. Parks and
Recreation staff need time to clean Veinte de Agosto Park for the
permitted Take Care Tucson event and the safe use by the general public.

At the request of TPD, at approximately 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Occupy
protesters began removing gear and equipment from the park. Community
resource and support service personnel from Primavera and City Housing
and Community Development were present to assist anyone who needed
transportation to emergency housing for the night and other social
service support. Due to the developing traffic hazard associated with
the volume of property being stacked on the curb and sidewalk, officers
closed down the traffic lanes immediately adjacent to the park boundary
and brought lights in to assist with the process. The park interior was
vacated by approximately 10:30 p.m. Demonstrators continued to clear
their property from the sidewalk area until approximately midnight A
small number of demonstrators chose to remain on the sidewalk overnight,
as permitted by State and local laws. No force was used during the

Use of parks for freedom of speech purposes is still allowed, under
park rules (e.g. during park open hours). Going forward, the City will
not allow overnight camping in City parks. The City will continue
communication with those who have been involved in the local Occupy
movement who are seeking to continue their efforts to assist the
homeless and others in the community.

Tucson City Manager Richard Miranda stated, “I appreciate the
professionalism shown by our Tucson Police Officers and the cooperation
shown by Occupy Tucson members that led to a peaceful and successful
clean up of the park. In this process, Tucson has again demonstrated it
is a caring and tolerant City where we can work through challenges in a
peaceful manner.”