Friday, November 27, 1981

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. Park Police today arrested six people who had spent Thanksgiving night camped in a park across from the White House to protest the plight of the homeless and President Ronald Reagan's budget cuts.

After the arrests in Lafayette Park, police arrested three people who had been camped on the sidewalk in front of the White House since July, but police said the actions were not related.

Only one of those arrested in Lafayette Park was homeless, said Mary Ellen Hombs, a member of the group that staged the park protest, but she said the three sidewalk protesters were homeless.

About a dozen people left the tent city in Lafayette Park the called "Reaganville" after they were warned that arrests were imminent. The six others sang protest songs as police lifted them up and placed them in patrol wagons.

Authorities said the six would be charged with two federal misdemeanor counts - camping without a permit on national park property- and - with violating the District of Columbia's disorderly conduct statute. The two women and four men could be jailed for a year and fined $500 if found guilty on all three counts.

The three arrested on the sidewalk were charged with camping without a permit on national park property. If found guilty, the would be jailed for six months and fined $500.

Park Police spokeswoman Sandra Alley said police decided to make the later arrests after U.S. District Court Judge Charles Richey ruled Wednesday that authorities could bar activities that "would play havoc with the necessity to maintain peace and quiet" in front of the Executive Mansion.

Just before the dawn arrests in Lafayette Park, Mitch Snyder, a spokesman for the Community for Creative Non-Violence told police, "There are gaping holes in the president's safety net and they don't want that to become obvious.

The group sponsored the protest and encourage the city's homeless to take part.

Park Police dismantled the tent city the group had established.

"Welcome to Reaganville - Reaganomics at Work," a sign at is entrance had read.

Reagan and his family are spending a long weekend at their California ranch.

Not many people had chosen to make the encampment home for the night.

Several hundred of the capital'[s street people showed up for a free Thanksgiving dinner and then left. At times, reporters and TV crews outnumbered the Reaganvillers.