Joe Redner is telling Occupy Tampa To Leave His Park

August 3, 2012 | By
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Last month, some West Tampa residents signed a petition asking that the city relocate Occupy Tampa. JAY CONNER/STAFF

TAMPA — Nude dance club owner Joe Redner is telling Occupy Tampa to clear out of his private park in West Tampa by Sept. 15.

Redner on Thursday told the Tampa City Council — scheduled to hear an Aug. 16 report on the encampment from police and other officials — that it need not waste its time worrying about his property, known as Voice of Freedom Park.

Occupy Tampa would be able to stay at the park through the Aug. 27-30 Republican National Convention, and Redner said he expected some protesters to sleep there. He said that would be good, because they wouldn’t be sleeping closer to downtown.

In a notice to members of Occupy Tampa, Redner says, “I hope you can find a suitable place where you can operate Occupy Tampa and try to help our country find its place by helping everyone find their way and live a quality life.”

Redner said he decided to evict Occupy Tampa because the encampment is “causing a lot of consternation in the neighborhood,” which has circulated a petition against its presence at 2101 W Main St. He also said he read a report suggesting that crime had gone up in the area since Occupy Tampa had moved in.

Police calls in and around the park have doubled from 210 to 425 over six months once Occupy Tampa moved there, Capt. Charles Courtoy told the council July 19.

Redner said he doesn’t anticipate resistance from Occupy Tampa campers. Occupy Tampa has no lease or contract with him. If anyone refused to leave, he said it would be a matter of trespassing and, if the person returned, he or she would be arrested.

Read more: Tampa Bay Times


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