The D.C. Chamber of Commerce is calling for the Occupy encampment on Mc Pherson Square to be torn down.
The Chamber, which is led by Chief Executive Officer Barbara Lang, wants campers evicted immediately, saying that continuation of protests on the National Park Service site not only hurts local businesses but poses health and safety risks.
According to information posted on the Chamber's website as "Barbara's Blog," Occupy DC – which took over the site near Freedom Plaza last October -- has been there long enough, becoming a burden to the District's economy.
"Our city has played host to hundreds of uninvited guests for months now, and it is well past time that this illegal protest moves on," the blog reads. "The DC Chamber fully supports Mayor [Vincent] Gray's assertion that McPherson Square should be cleared immediately."
The blog goes on to state that the DC Department of Health noted in a recent report, that the encampment "represents a serious public safety and health concern--not just to District residents, but to the protesters themselves. Campers, and members of the public, are at risk for hypothermia, food-borne illness and communicable disease, and the occupation has caused a major rat infestation."
It also declares that the District has been shouldering the cost of this protest, which was estimated at over $1.6 million a month ago, and that businesses have been losing customers.
"This hurts District businesses and residents--all a part of the "99 percent"--and for them to be responsible for these costs is in itself is wrong, and goes against the very purpose of the Occupy DC movement."