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Occupy Lexington protesters forced to cleanup

By: Elizabeth Dorsett Email
By: Elizabeth Dorsett Email

Lexington Police came for their routine check on the protesters, only to realize the Occupy Lexington site was unoccupied.

"Today when we showed up there was nobody here," explained Lt. Douglas Pape with the Lexington Police Department as he watched the camp site at the corner of Main Street and Esplanade get cleaned up Tuesday afternoon.

"I called in a couple of trucks to start cleaning up the mess assuming they'd left," Pape explained. "So, we're helping them clean up so they can stay."

As police officers dismantled tents and loaded them into the back of police pickup trucks to be hauled away, some unhappy campers showed up.

"I'm furious this happened," Kate Folson exclaimed while rolling up a brown tarp. "We are being raided after being here118 days!"

But police say it's anything but a raid. In fact, they just want to make the corner of Main & Esplanade safer.

"We had some issues with food that was kind of old and some of the older tents. We want to make sure everybody stays healthy," Pape said.

Kate Folson retorted, "Democracy is messy. We've tried to keep our place as clean as possible, we clean constantly."

Another reason why Lexington Police chose to act today was because of profanities written in chalk on the sidewalks that were targeting businesses like Chase Bank.

"This is a person that we have tried to remove from the occupation multiple times, we've called police," Folson said.

And while both sides say they've had a good relationship since the occupation began last September, Lexington Police say protesters can gather on sidewalks they just can't occupy them in tents any more.

"Oh no, the movement isn't over. It is just beginning," Folson said.

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