Occupy Austin Members Forced off City Hall Grounds

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Members of Occupy Austin were forced to leave City Hall Friday night at 10 p.m.

The eviction is the result of a revised building use policy approved Friday by city manager Marc A. Ott. According to the new policy, the City Hall plaza, mezzanine and amphitheater areas may not be used for non-city business or activities before 6 a.m. and after 10 p.m. and sleeping and camping will be prohibited at all times.

Deputy City Manager Michael McDonald said the revised policy is necessary because of criminal activity, damage to city property and health concerns related to Occupy protesters staying on city hall grounds around the clock.

“What we have put together really is a great compromise because protesters will still have access to City Hall to exercise their first amendment rights all day,” McDonald said. “They just can’t live there anymore and keep their personal items there 24 hours a day.”