Occupy Des Moines is hoping for a permit
A group of about 100 Occupy Des Moines demonstrators opted to cross the street to a public sidewalk Monday evening rather than face another night of arrests for trespassing at a park just west of the Capitol.
Several of the demonstrators are meeting with state officials Tuesday morning to obtain the necessary permit to stay in “People’s Park” past the 11 p.m. closing time. The group has also vowed to hold another general assembly meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m. and continue demonstrating indefinitely.
“We think everything we’ve done to this point builds a strong case,” said Hugh Espey, executive director of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement. “We fully expect to get that permit.”
Lt. Mark Logsdon of the Iowa State Patrol told the demonstrators it’s not his goal to arrest anyone, and said he’d be supportive of them being issued a permit.
“If that happens it changes the whole game, obviously,” Logsdon said.
Demonstrators did not set up tents in the park Monday evening as they did on Sunday, when dozens were arrested.
Some demonstrators said Des Moines is the only city where so-called occupiers are not being allowed to peaceably assemble. Nearly every major city across the country has seen some kind of demonstration similar to the initial Occupy Wall Street demonstrations that began in September.