Today was a great day for Occupy Reno and the Occupy movement as a whole!
We were on the agenda for the City Council meeting today at 12:45 p.m. We applied for a 30-day permit for dual occupation at 240 Moana Lane and the old bus station at 4th and Center St. and were petitioning to have the permit fees waived. Councilman David Aiazzi made a motion to grant us a 90-day permit for both locations with absolutely no fees. The council approved a 90 day permit for the Moana pool site only, and the original $35/day fee was dropped because that particular site was not currently on a fee schedule, pending fire and health code approval. Furthermore, David Aiazzi himself agreed to pay the $103 permit application fee for the occupation.
The bus station was not approved at this time for several reasons. One reason was that Occupy Reno did not have a separate insurance policy for this site. In addition, we were only applying for a daylight occupation here, not a 24/7 occupation as with the Moana site. RPD as well as the City had concerns about not what would happen when we were there, but what would happen when we were not there (i.e.: homeless at night). Several councilmen expressed interest in taking down the fence in the near future and making this plaza a public space as well as a free speech zone in which anyone, including Occupy Reno, can use for their purposes. This issue will be addressed in a later City Council meeting.
According to Jamie Schroeder, Senior Management Analyst for the CIty of Reno, the permit for 240 Moana Lane should go through by 5 p.m. tomorrow (10/27) if Occupy Reno can provide proof on insurance, health and fire code compliance, and a waste removal plan. We have been working nonstop to ensure these things are accomplished by tomorrow and do not foresee any problems.
Thanks to everyone who made it to City Hall today to support this movement and a special thank you to everyone who spoke during the meeting. We had support across the board without any one race, gender, or socioeconomic category more represented than another. Everyone spoke with such passion and articulation of their ideas. Several of us were holding back tears. We truly are united in this! Furthermore, we listened as several members of the council defended our position, fought to have our permit extended to 90 days, and claimed that they too were part of the 99%.
We will be holding a General Assembly at 240 Moana Lane at 6 p.m. Thursday 10/27- tomorrow! If our permit goes through, we will begin occupation immediately following the GA. Either way, the main issues on the agenda will be organization of the occupation site, gathering of supplies, safety and comfort, and anything else you would like to bring up related to the actual occupation.
We hope you are as excited as we are!