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Protesters against Austin homeless camping ban stage last-minute demonstrations

The ban is set to take effect on Tuesday, May 11.

AUSTIN, Texas — On Tuesday, the voter-approved public camping ban is set to take effect in Austin.

Voters approved Proposition B in this month's election. It bans people from camping in public areas that aren't designated by the Parks and Recreation Department, sitting or lying on public sidewalks in and near downtown and the University of Texas campus, and panhandling at specific hours and locations.

But some people are protesting the new ordinance.

For several days now, protesters have been camping outside Austin City Hall. On Sunday night, they held a protest to show city leaders they stand in solidarity with people who are homeless. More protesters were also spotted Monday morning.

"We are here occupying because this is not OK. Like, we need to bring awareness that the solution needs to be found. Do not criminalize people until a solution is found,” said one protester who goes by the name of Smoky Quartz.

People who violate the ban could get a ticket, but the City's plan to enforce it isn't completely laid out yet.

City officials say staff members are evaluating options. They plan to start with people who are living in situations with higher health and safety risks.

And Interim Police Chief Joe Chacon said he's working with City management and will eventually give officers guidance on enforcement.

On Monday morning, Austin Mayor Steve Adler said he expects City Manager Spencer Cronk to release more details about enforcement plans in the coming days.


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