Movement Moves On
Occupy Monterey leaves Veterans Park; Saturday meetings to continue.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
It was a quiet exit, though organizers say Occupy Monterey is from over.
At 5pm on Jan. 23, there were still a few tents set up at Veterans Memorial Park in Monterey. A solo police car had driven by around noon, when the park-use permit held by the Occupy group was set to expire.
City officials had no reason to believe it would be a resistant exit, though some of the few dozen campers said they had nowhere else to go as they broke down their tents and left.
They say they want to keep the Occupy spirit alive, regardless of where they lay their heads at night.
“The movement is not over,” says Seamas Navarro, a poet. “We’re serious about this shit.”
On Jan. 17, the Monterey City Council voted 4-1 against reinstating the two permits issued to Occupy. One allowed camping at Veterans, and the other OK’d a general assembly at Colton Hall, where the local Occupy movement has kept its headquarters since last fall.
Assistant City Manager Fred Cohn believes the decision, in part, was due to other groups wanting to use the facilities. “We have turned down permits for other groups wanting to use the site,” he says. “It’s not about the money, but it’s about fairness.”
Cohn believes no future plans have been made by Occupy Monterey and that no other encampments will be made. “An encampment was not a tool to deal with the homeless issue,” he says.
But movement members disagree.
“I got the feeling the council has no idea what is going on literally on their doorstep,” says Colin Gallagher, a de facto spokesman of the leaderless Occupy Monterey.
He says Occupy will continue to meet at Colton Hall each Saturday at 2:30pm, and try to arrive at a consensus on how to continue the movement.