Occupy Delaware called ‘desecration,’ ordered to dismantle

Wilmington Mayor James Baker orders the group to break up their encampment at Spencer Plaza by May 1.  

They’ve been “occupying” the area across the street from the City/County building in downtown Wilmington since November while the city has mostly turned a blind eye.  But no more.  

“The city does not intend to preclude Occupy Delaware from the legitimate exercise of its First Amendment rights,” said Baker.  “But the indefinite seizure of public property is not protected speech.”  He says members of the group have been involved in criminal activity at the site including destruction of public property, safety and sanitation violations and, most recently, illegal drug activity and public intoxication.

Baker says the group is preventing others from enjoying Spencer Plaza, the burial site for African American religious leader Peter Spencer.  “Occupy Delaware’s ‘occupation’ has become a desecration of the final resting place of one of our most historic and revered citizens.”  

Baker says he hopes the group’s members will voluntarily take down their tents and related structures on or before May 1.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.