Omaha Public Radio News
4:06 pm
Wed November 2, 2011

Occupy Omaha granted permit for Elmwood Park

Omaha, NE – The city of Omaha has granted a conditional permit for members of Occupy Omaha to camp at Elmwood Park.

City officials announced Wednesday that a woman claiming to be from Occupy Omaha applied for and was granted the permit. Occupy members can't camp overnight at the park unless the City Council grants a waiver allowing them to do so. City Attorney Paul Kratz says a waiver is being drafted.

Right now, members of the Occupy Omaha movement are camping at 24th and Farnam Streets downtown. Deputy Police Chief Todd Schmaderer says they don't have the proper permits to do so. The site is a vacant lot owned by the city. He says police are hoping to work out a solution with Occupiers that respects their First Amendment rights. If no solution is worked out, Schmaderer says police may intervene.

Aida Amoura, spokeswoman for Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle, says businesses and residents have complained about activities at the site, including open burning and public urination.