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Independence Mall ‘Occupier’ Fined $125 For Sleeping On The Job

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –– An “Occupy” outpost on Independence Mall has been cited for violating the terms of the demonstration permit it received from the National Park Service.

The tent — sporting signs saying, “We are the 99 percent” and “This is a test of the  Free Speech System!” — has been out on the First Amendment plaza, near Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, since the beginning of the week (see previous story).

A group that calls itself “Occupy 1776” obtained the permit, which prohibits camping or sleeping at the site.    So, protesters were taking shifts in the exercise of free speech.

But Gandalf  Eichfeld says he was alone during a 16-hour shift and couldn’t keep his eyes open.   He was awakened by a member of the Park Service and handed a $125 ticket for violating the terms of the permit.  In addition, he says, he was instructed to clean up the tent.

“It can’t be utilized for sleeping in,” he tells KYW Newsradio.  “The (park) rangers actually wanted us to take the stuff out of it  now, and we have to lock it up.  So it’s actually an Occupy symbol now.”

Eichfeld was ultimately relieved from his post by fellow protesters, and the demonstration continues.

Reported by John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio 1060

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