FORT MYERS, Fla. - Occupy Fort Myers has been forced out of the city. But protesters have not given up. They've been offered a new home base, where they are planning their next move.
Thursday night, Fort Myers Police gave Occupiers at Centennial Park two options: pick up and leave, or be arrested. The group obeyed, relocating to the old County Courthouse.
Friday afternoon, it the same scene, and same message, this time, from the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
"You will not be spending the night," Sheriff Mike Scott said to the group.
Scott said he's watched protestors turn the park and courthouse into what he calls "a public campground."
"The tents in the grass, the pedestrian impediments, is not going to fly," Scott said.
So, the Unitarian Universalist Church on Daniels Parkway stepped in, offering its Holton Eco-Preserve as a new gathering place.
"We are very happy to offer sanctuary to the folks and we will do as much as we can to support through the holiday season," Church President-Elect Don Ehad said.
Despite the change of scenery, the fire is still burning. The group is treating this as a chance to re-energize, and map out the next move.
"We are not disappointed by this," Occupy protester Matthew McDowell said. "To be honest with you, it's more fodder for the cannons in the sense, with what they've done, what they are doing and how they are trying to take away our First Amendment and Constitutional rights."
The occupy group is still holding rally Saturday afternoon at Centennial Park. They plan to stay at the church possibly up to a week. After that, they hope to re-organize in downtown Fort Myers.