Occupy Fairbanks protesters pull up camp after more than 6 months

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch
Ethan Sinsabaugh, 27, set aside his Army surplus winter mitts to warm up at the Fairbanks Co-Op Diner Friday, Nov. 18. Sinsabaugh is an active member of Occupy Fairbanks enduring freezing weather while protesting in Fairbanks.
JR Ancheta photo
To stay warm in extreme temperatures as low as 40 below zero, Sinsabaugh splits wood for a compact woodstove used to heat one of the tents Occupy Fairbanks recently erected in Veterans Memorial Park.
JR Ancheta photo
Ethan Sinsabaugh heats up half of a frozen hamburger for breakfast inside an Occupy Fairbanks tent Nov. 19. Sinsabaugh is an active member of the movement, keeping a constant vigil at the park even in extreme temperatures of -40.
JR Ancheta photo
Ethan Sinsabaugh stands in one of two Occupy Fairbanks tents set up without permission in Veterans Memorial Park. Protesters have maintained a continuous vigil in the park even as Fairbanks experienced record daily low temperatures.
JR Ancheta photo
Ethan Sinsabaugh feeds a compact woodstove Nov. 19, while Andrew Labar, 30, shares the warmth within an Occupy Fairbanks tent set up at Veterans Memorial Park.
JR Ancheta photo
UAF Anthropology student Ethan Sinsabaugh sits in a tent at the Occupy Fairbanks protest.
JR Ancheta photo

According to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, the local campers who were protesting in solidarity with the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement struck camp and moved out of a Downtown park over the weekend after 189 consecutive days of occupation.

The Fairbanks protesters were camped in Veterans Memorial Park throughout the winter. They made national headlines when they kept up the occupation even when the thermometer dipped as far down as thermometers usually dip in Alaska's Interior.

Last Thursday, the Fairbanks North Star Borough notified protesters they had to remove tents and other camping gear from the park by 11:59 p.m. Sunday or face “further actions” to “compel the removal” of the camp.

But the protesters say they're leaving in good faith and have long said that they would leave the park if someone else wanted it, said Forrest Anderson, one of the occupiers.

“We always said if people wanted to rent the park out and use it we’d pack up our stuff,” Anderson said. “We don’t want to piss anybody in the community off. We want them to come out and support us.”

With summer approaching quickly now, the Borough's parks and recreation department says it has started to fill reservations for the park.

Anderson says that even though the group is no longer camping, it is planning further events to build on the change in conversation he believes the protest fostered.

“We’re certainly not done,” Anderson said. “We’re leaving this park but we’ll be here for the summer.”

Read much more, here.