POLICE ARREST 6 PROTESTERS IN PARK,
3 ON SIDEWALK NEAR WHITE HOUSE
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
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
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
Park Police dismantled the tent city the group had established.
"Welcome to Reaganville - Reaganomics at Work," a sign at is entrance
Reagan and his family are spending a long weekend at their California
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.