I’ve been struck by how relaxed and friendly are the many officers around President’s park. “You going to be here long?” “For as many months as I can hold out,” I reply. “I’ll be sleeping over on that bench,” I explain. ‘All right then,’ has been the reply expressed in different ways.
This morning was different. Office Perry called me to awake at 6:01 this morning. ‘You are committing a crime… What is your social security number….” “Do I have to?” “You can give it to me here, or down at the police station, you choose.” He was never mean, but he was all rules and regulations. The bottom line, he says, is that anything that clearly signals an intent to sleep/live in the park signals a crime. Hmmm.
I explained that I did not intend disobedience, but I DID intend to vigil non-stop; that I had no place else to sleep; and that his suggestion of a shelter (in by 7 out by 7) would not allow long enough hours.
Actually, now that I look at it, I don’t see that they have much choice. They can’t open the door for lots of folks living in the park.
My fellow Americans DO have a choice. They could be supporting this vigil – teams of people to spell each other; Spartan lodging; food; communication….
Hmmm. Is Jail a problem? The problem is people being discouraged from a Stand With Darfur. I suppose Jail is one place to stand.