Photographer Brian Chilson is on hand this morning for the 7 a.m. police eviction of Occupy Little Rock from its camp at 4th and Ferry Streets. Arrests are expected. Occupy LR has said those who stand their ground on the site won't forcibly resist the arrests and then will pursue legal action over the city's forced end to their free speech demonstration.
More later. Police didn't move immediately at the expiration of the group's permit at 7 a.m. Speeches were in progress at 7:15 a.m.
UPDATE: At 8:45 a.m. still awaiting city's promised action. Occupy LR awaits.
UPDATE: At 9:30, OLR has been reduced to making joke calls demanding police action. Not to worry.
City Manager Bruce Moore says ominously:
"We have an operational plan in place."
LRPD's Terry Hastings:
"No comment at this time."
UPDATE: In early afternoon (1 p.m.), the city's go-slow approach was working to perfection. Most media had drifted away along with many of the Occupiers and sympathizers who'd come to see a morning showdown. Most of the infrastructure for the camp was removed (water, solar panels, generators) and a great deal of cleanup was done with city dumpsters. Some tents and portable toilets remain, but they won't provide much by way of amenities. Spirits were down among those hoping for the "closure" of a group arrest. Some city police vehicles were marshaled at City Hall. I'd still expect a final sweep and cleanup at a point when attendance on-sight is small and attention from the public is slight. You have to credit the city for its cagey approach, much as a head-busting mowdown undoubtedly would have pleased some of the more authoritarian types on the board and in the community.
PS — Former state Rep. Robert Johnston, a political activist, has a comment on City Director Lance Hines' latest. (Hine put the eviction process in motion because his Chenal Valley sensibilities were offended by the sight of tents on a gravel parking lot.)
Little Rock City Director Lance Hines [ Ward 5] is not very good with analogies.
He is quoted in 16 May DemGaz ' I would equate [Occupy Little Rock] to a houseguest who had worn out his welcome...'
He is equating a collective political movement in a public space with an open ended invitation from the City Manager to a invitation to a private house. He is overlooking 1st amendment rights of speech, assembly, and petition. I wonder if he had a decent political science course; if so where?