Occupy Park City, no longer sleeping at City Park, remains emboldened
December 16, 2011
Occupy Park City has secured a second City Hall permit for its encampment at City Park, a step that came as the people involved appear ready to widen their efforts on behalf of the national movement.
Park City officials granted a permit lasting until Jan. 2. The first permit allowed the encampment through December. The current permit allows 65 people at the site, which is situated on the northern edge of the park, at any given time. The initial one allowed five people.
City Hall prohibited overnight camping at Occupy Park City, the most significant restriction in the second permit. The first one allowed people to stay overnight.
Activity is allowed at the encampment from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. each day. City Hall has permitted three temporary structures at the site as well as a portable toilet.
Max Paap, who manages special events for City Hall and has been involved in the Occupy Park City permitting, said the prohibition on people staying overnight was put in place since no sort of heating, such as fires or space heaters, is allowed at the encampment.
Tyler Galovich, the key figure in Occupy Park City and the person who has secured the City Hall permits, said he plans to seek another one covering January. He said people have been at the site daily and he spends a few hours each day at the encampment. Galovich said he wants to post a sign identifying the encampment as Occupy Park City by the weekend.
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"I believe we’re on an upward, positive scale . . . and moving forward," he said.
The Park City Police Department regularly checks on the encampment. Police logs have indicated there have not been problems. Police officers conducting many of the checks have reported that nobody has been at the site.
Occupy Park City aligns itself closely with the Occupy Wall Street movement in its criticism of the influence of corporations in everyday life in the U.S. The local group has held a march on a bank and gathers for weekly meetings at the Park City Library and Education Center.
Galovich has made at least three public appearances recently, one at KPCW radio’s forum about the younger generation of Parkites and the others at Park City Council meetings. The crowd at the radio forum gave Galovich a round of applause as he introduced himself prior to asking a question about energy. He again received applause at the City Council meeting.
Galovich, in his comments to Mayor Dana Williams and the City Council, criticized corporate influence on the environment, the economy and the lives of Americans. He said he wants the City Council and the Summit County Council to address issues of importance to the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Williams at the same meeting spoke about Occupy Park City, saying that he had met Galovich. The mayor said he was "so moved by his commitment" and he was impressed with Galovich’s knowledge.
At one of the recent meetings at the Library and Education Center, three people joined Galovich for a discussion about strategy. They talked about other locations that could be useful to Occupy Park City, including office space, the Olympic Welcome Plaza and perhaps a park on Main Street. Galovich said at the meeting overnight camping was not as important to the local movement as it was at the outset. He noted that five or six people had stayed overnight at least once.
The people at the meeting, meanwhile, spent significant time debating the message Occupy Park City should promote. They briefly touched on whether they should abandon the moniker Occupy Park City, but the group decided to continue using the name.
The Occupy Park City figures have posted signs at the encampment itself outlining meeting dates, contact information and the group’s agenda. They have also posted signs at the site, with one of them saying, "for those who do not support the movement, occupy your couch."