Kearsley Park neighbors fed up with six-month protest encampment

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FLINT (WJRT) (10/11/2017) - Six months after a group of people hoping to bring awareness to the ongoing Flint water emergency took over Kearsley Park, neighbors want them to move along.

"I don't see them doing anything, you know what I'm saying, to protest," neighbor Jane K said. "And, not only that if you're gonna protest, why aren't you on the water plant's lawn instead of in Kearsley Park?"

She says she can't sleep at night worried about the campers across the street from her. Plus, she'd like to use the park again..

"We have a little play yard down here for the kids, parents aren't using it anymore because they don't know who's down there. They could be predators, they could be anybody, know what I'm saying?" Jane added.

She's called the Mayor's Office, the City Attorney, Councilman Wantwaz Davis and Flint Police.

"I want them to enforce the law and get these people out of our park," Jane said.

Councilman Davis took her concerns to the camp Wednesday and tensions ran high.

Davis said the encampment dubbed Camp Promise, which has occupied much of the park since April, needs to start developing plans to pack up and leave. He believes the group is damaging Kearsley Park and doing more harm than good to the community.

He went down to the camp and quickly got into a verbal argument with a camper.

Davis said the demonstrators need to understand people live near the makeshift campground and the neighbors want to use their park again.

"This is a public park for everyone," Davis said. "It's not a hotel and a motel or a Holiday Inn."

"You're coming down here kind of too late brother because it's already reached a point where it's closing down. It's all gonna be cleaned up," said camper Tim Robbins.

He says he'll be the only one around through the winter.

"I give you my word to God that I will be the last person here if need be, helping restore, to clean up the park, back to what it was before we got here. Planting grass seeds in all the bare spots, everything will be restored, because that's the way I believe it should be," Robbins explained.

Davis said he will bring his concerns to the rest of the Flint City Council. He also plans to talk with code enforcement officials to see what action he can take to get them removed.

We've reached out to Flint Police to ask if they have any plans to get the campers out. They have not responded to our request for a comment.

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