Occupy protest in Bellingham facing deadline

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BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) -- An Occupy Wall Street protest in Bellingham has been given a deadline to vacate a city park.

The Bellingham Herald reports that (http://bit.ly/vVeJYB) Occupy Bellingham has been given until Wednesday morning to leave Maritime Heritage Park.

Protesters have camped at the park since late October, pitching tents and signs to protest against wealth inequality.

But Mayor Dan Pike says businesses and resident complains about the damage to the park has prompted him to action, even if he agrees with some of the demands from the protesters.

He says the city can't continue paying overtime wages to police officers and parks workers to monitor the park.

Occupy members condemned the vacate letter, saying that the city is encroaching on their First Amendment rights.

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Information from: The Bellingham Herald, http://www.bellinghamherald.com