COLUMBIA — City workers power-washed the plaza in front of the Daniel Boone City Building on Tuesday morning. The tent, sleeping bags and plastic storage bins that had been there as part of the Occupy COMO protest for two months were gone.
Building maintenance workers and a few Columbia police officers came to city hall at about 11 a.m. to remove the group’s belongings, said Nicholas Berry, a protester.
The group is still allowed to protest but cannot store items in front of city hall. Police officers videotaped the removal, but did not otherwise interact with the protesters or the cleanup.
"Both parties were very congenial," Jill Stedem, public information specialist for the city, said. "It wasn't any hostile takeover."
About two protesters were in the plaza when city officials arrived to clean up, Stedem said. Once the belongings were gone, maintenance workers worked to remove stains on the concrete and limestone.
City workers removed belongings that hadn't been claimed by any of the protesters, she said, and the tent and other items were placed in a secure storage area owned by the city. If anyone wants to claim their items they must contact the city's Public Works Department.
Much of the debate focused on an artistic tent. No one slept in the tent, which was there as a form of protest. The placement of the tent and other items were said to violate city ordinances, according to a previous Missourian report.
The group plans to return to protest and has contacted an attorney, Berry said.
John Glascock, director of Public Works, informed the group on Thursday morning that they must move their belongings by Monday. The group didn't remove the tent and several other items, but on Monday morning, they did sweep up leaves and debris including trash and cigarette butts.