The scores of tents in the Occupy Berkeley encampment sit next door to Berkeley High School. Photo: Lance Knobel

The Occupy Berkeley encampment, which has operated without interference since it was established in late October, looks likely to be ended tonight at 10 p.m. A warning was issued yesterday that the park closure law and the illegal lodging law will be enforced from tonight.

The notice stated: “Berkeley Municipal Code (“BMC”) § 6.32.020 prohibits being in a City park from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. This park is closed at 10 p.m. Starting December 21, 2011, this law will be enforced. Persons in this park after 10 p.m. will be subject to arrest for violating BMC § 6.32.020 and their property will be removed.

“Penal Code § 647(e) prohibits lodging on City property without permission from the City. No one has permission to lodge in this park. Persons who are camping in this park are violating Penal Code § 647(e). Starting December 21, 2011, anyone found camping in this park will be required to remove their tent and other property being used for lodging here. Persons who fail to remove their tent and other property used for lodging in this park will be subject to arrest for violating Penal Code § 647(e) and their property will be removed.”

The notice that was handed out last night at 10 p.m. in the Civic Center Park encampment

Last week, councilmember Jesse Arreguín proposed a “zero tolerance” approach to the encampment, but he allied that policy to a desire to negotiate a smooth removal of Occupy Berkeley. Yesterday’s notice was given without negotiation with the encampment.

The Occupy Berkeley encampment will hold its regular General Assembly at 6 p.m. tonight.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...