Protest over park rules expected before commission meeting

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Protesters will gather in Kalamazoo over new regulations being considered by the city that some believe target the homeless.

The protest is being organized by a group called Occupy Kalamazoo. The group has set up camp in Bronson Park to protest the upcoming proposal that will be discussed at the city commission meeting Monday night.

The proposal would make changes to existing park rules, notably changing current offenses from misdemeanor charges to civil infractions, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and or a maximum fine of $500.

The proposal would also cut down hours which people are allowed to sleep in the park; from 7 a.m.til 9 p.m. to 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The city says this isn’t to target homeless people but to accommodate park maintenance staff.

Protesters are setting up around 11 a.m. Sunday and will have a pot luck this afternoon and to discuss ways to improve the city.

They’ll be doing more of the same Monday, including a pizza party at nearby First Congregation Church.

The Kalamazoo City Commission meeting starts at 7 p.m. Monday.

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