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Police sweep second Occupy DC site

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Following Saturday's inspection of an Occupy D.C. site in McPherson Square, U.S. Park Police swept through a similar encampment in Freedom Plaza on Sunday (February 5), looking for regulation violations in the tents. In what appeared to be a peaceful walkthrough, officers and National Park Service members in hazmat suits inspected bedding, clothes and other items for possible violations and biohazard threats. Tents found not to be in compliance were marked with an orange tag. Officers also asked protesters to remove the wooden pallets that were placed under their tents. The National Park Service forbids camping on federal land not designated as a campground. Park rules allow tents or temporary structures as part of protests, but the protesters cannot have bedding and a tent flap or side of the structure must be open. U.S. Park Police spokesman David Schlosser said most of the protesters were cooperating with the police. "Oft times when we are doing this, there is some confusion as to what our expectations are and we find that a lot of people are coming to us, asking questions, because, I think, most people want to come in to compliance with the regulations," Schlosser told Reuters. Police said one person was arrested for threatening an officer. The eviction of Occupy Wall Street protesters and public spaces in other U.S. cities in November and December has made the protests less visible and organizers now face the challenge of how to maintain momentum without the physical camps. Demonstrations in the U.S. capital have survived because of an unusually warm winter and a permissive approach by federal authorities reluctant to provoke confrontation The protesters at Freedom Plaza have been camped at the site since early October.

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