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Police converge on Occupy site in DC, inspect site

By Eric Tucker

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Feb. 4 2012 7:55 a.m. MST

RETRANSMITTED FOR ALTERNATE CROP AND IMPROVED TONING - A U.S. Park Police officer removes a wooden structure from a tent at McPherson Square park in Washington, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012. Park Police entered the square before dawn to enforce a no camping law on Occupy DC protestors in Washington, one of the nation's last remaining Occupy sites, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012. McPherson Square is a federal park near the White House, where demonstrators have enjoyed special First Amendment protections by virtue of the square's designation as park service property. The regulations permit protesters to remain onsite at all hours with tents, but bars them from camping or laying down bedding material.

Cliff Owen, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Dozens of U.S. Park Police officers have converged on one of the nation's last remaining Occupy sites and are inspecting tents there.

The officers arrived before dawn Saturday at McPherson Square, just blocks from the White House, on horseback and in riot gear. There were no clashes between police and protesters, though a Park Police spokesman says four people were arrested for disobeying a lawful order.

Police say they want to make sure protesters are complying with National Park Service regulations that allow demonstrations at the site but prohibit camping. Police are inspecting tents, and some officials are wearing yellow biohazard suits to avoid exposure to any communicable diseases.

Some demonstrators say the police are effectively evicting them by forcing them to remove any bedding material from their tents.

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