This morning, the Health Care, District of Columbia, Census and the National Archives Subcommittee investigated the decision by the National Parks Service (NPS) to allow Occupy DC protesters to camp indefinitely in McPherson Square.
The subcommittee, which falls under the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, held the hearing entitled "McPherson Square: Who Made the Decision to Allow Indefinite Camping in the Park?" to explore the "decision-making process that has allowed continued camping in McPherson Square for more than three months despite the apparent illegality of it," according to Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC).
During the proceedings, National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis made news by stating his department is planning to enforce the "no camping" rule, following the issuing of another warning to Occupy protesters, who have been there since October. Jarvis, who fielded most of the questions from congressional members during the hearing, also said the protesters haven't been removed because of the first amendment.
Other members of the witness panel included DC Health Department Director Dr. Mohammad Akhter, who testified that health concerns are a big problem; DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier, who confirmed that several arrests had been made; as well as DC Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Paul Quander, Jr., and William and Mary Cabell Research Professor of Law Timothy Zick.