Washington mayor asks Occupy protesters to leave park

January 13, 2012 06:09

WASHINGTON - Occupy protesters in the US capital may be removed after Washington's mayor said on Thursday their camp in a downtown park poses health concerns to the city and cited a rat infestation.

Mayor Vincent Gray sent a letter to the National Park Service, which oversees the McPherson Square park that has become home to "Occupy DC" - a group of more than 100 protesters camping out in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement, a loose network of Occupy encampments across the country.

Citing a health inspection conducted by a city official that found rats in tents and within the area where food is prepared for the group, Gray said "conditions at McPherson Square are particularly a threat to the health and safety of both protestors and District residents."

Gray called on the National Park Service to take immediate steps and said protesters should be moved to a nearby plaza where another group of protesters has been camping out.

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