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Occupy O.C., Irvine end overnight camping pact

Occupy Orange County protesters have agreed to end overnight camping at the Irvine Civic Center in January, according to the latest amendment to the agreement between the group and city officials.

Protesters will have to clear out the overnight encampment at Alton Parkway and Harvard Avenue, which has between 20 and 30 tents, by noon Jan. 11, according to Monday's amendment posted on the city website.

"I am pleased that the Occupy OC demonstrators and the city have agreed to a peaceful ending to the camping authorized by the City Council nearly eight weeks ago," Mayor Sukhee Kang said in a statement emailed to the Daily Pilot.

"This is a testament to how the community and government can work together," Kang continued. "Our city has treated the members of the Occupy movement with dignity and professionalism, and, as Americans, we have respected free speech rights."

The protesters were granted permission Oct. 25 to camp overnight at the Civic Center and have since received several extensions from the city.

The last extension was set to expire at noon Wednesday. However, protesters "acknowledge that no further extensions of time of the Letter of Understanding will be requested or granted," according to the most recent document.

Protesters will continue to be able to use the park space and sidewalks to express constitutionally protected rights, but will be limited by city laws and regulations, according to the document.

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-- Sarah Peters, Times Community News

 
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