The city has rejected Occupy Baltimore’s request last week for a permit allowing the group to remain at McKeldin Square with as many as 40 tents until April.
The group, Baltimore’s outpost of the Occupy Wall Street movement, had applied last week for a permit, delivering copies of the paperwork to the mayor’s office and the Department of Recreation and Parks.
In rejecting the request, the city was was essentially reiterating its position that “camping is prohibited” and Occupy Baltimore must not remain, said a source at City Hall.
According to The Daily Record, “Parks and Recreation Director Gregory Bayor notes in the denial letter that the department cannot approve permits longer than five days and permits have already been granted to others during the period requested.”
Writing about the permit request denial in the Indypendent Reader, Clayton Conn includes a copy of Bayor’s letter.
Asked why the city was rejecting the permit request, Ryan O’Doherty, a spokesman for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake replied via email with this statement:
“The City of Baltimore is committed to protecting individuals’ right to protest. However, permanent camping is prohibited in our public parks and individuals are free to peaceably assemble and demonstrate within the currently established guidelines. The City has repeatedly communicated this to individuals on-site and will enforce the camping prohibition at a time of its choosing. The City is committed to providing outreach and assistance to individuals experiencing homelessness.”