In 2009 Providence officials used a series of ordinance violations – including trespassing and remaining in the park past curfew – to remove “Camp Runamuck,” a tent city in a city park. Now they are considering using a similar civil injunction to persuade Occupy Providence to vacate Burnside City Park. Aware that the city is contemplating their removal, 200 protesters marched on City Hall Monday to request permission to occupy the park indefinitely on the basis of their first-amendment right to free speech. The constitutional issues at stake could potentially make the injunction against the Occupiers more complicated, said Peter DeSimone, counsel for the defendants in the Camp Runamuck case.
St. Francis Chapel on Westiminister Street is slated to close its doors after 55 years due to financial struggles and depleted numbers of Franciscan friars available to staff the church. The number of Franciscan friars in the Holy Name province of the East Coast has been declining steadily – 30 years ago there were about 1,000 friars and today there are only 342, 120 of whom are over the age of 75 and likely to retire soon.