DC Mayor Vincent Gray has called upon the National Park Service to remove Occupy DC Protesters from McPherson Square.
Local media is reporting that Mayor Gray seen a letter to National Park Service Officials dated January 12, 2012. The Mayor in his letter cited an ongoing rat infestation and other health concerns.
The Mayor states in his letter than the park, which is owned and operated by the National Park Services in infested with rats, the Mayor also express concern with the overall health of the protestors and the risk of hypothermia.
The Mayor’s letter comes weeks after complaints from local merchants, workers and others in and around McPherson Square about the increase level of rats since the protestors set up their encampment back in September. Back on January 3rd D.C. Department of Health Officials inspected the McPherson Square encampment and conditions then lead to the protesters closing down their hot food tent voluntarily
The Mayor called upon the protesters to move to Freedom Plaza where another encampment of Occupy DC protesters is housed. Both encampments are located in National Park Service properties and the Mayor’s letter prompted the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) R-Calif. to issue a statement echoing the Mayor’s concerns about McPherson Square encampment.
National Park Service Spokesmen Bill Line stated that, “The free speech rights of the protestors must be protected.”
Rep. Issa has accused the National Park Service of being more interested in making excuses than providing information and protecting the public. The House Oversight and Government Oversight Committee has given the Department of Interior, which oversees the National Park Service until January 24th to respond to the committee’s request for information concerning the McPherson Square encampment decisions and how the National Park Service has worked with local officials.
Read more: Fox5DC