The Washington Post

2 Occupy camps will merge, after all

After nearly a week of uncertainty, the two Occupy protest camps in Washington D.C. will merge after all.

Occupiers at Freedom Plaza voted Wednesday to move the bulk of their operations to McPherson Square, after the two sides had spent several days dickering over the details of the move.

Freedom Plaza Occupiers had hoped to transfer their official National Park Service permit -- which had allowed them to have a full-service kitchen and other amenities -- to the other park.

But protesters in McPherson Square-- typically seen as the younger, more rebellious of the two -- emphatically voted down the0 idea of transferring the permit Tuesday night. McPherson Square protesters have never had a permit and don’t want one now, they said.

Now the big move off Freedom Plaza can begin, although Occupiers may leave a small information booth behind.

Occupiers had been allowed to maintain vigil tents in both federally owned parks since the parks were cleared of overnight campers in raids in early February.

Protesters have taken lately to sleeping outside bank buildings around downtown D.C. in what they have called a “sleepful protest.” Five of them were arrested Tuesday and Wednesday, and charged with obstructing a sidewalk, after they refused to move from in front of a Bank of America branch.

Annie Gowen is The Post’s India bureau chief and has reported for the Post throughout South Asia and the Middle East.

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