Home  »  2012 presidential campaign  »  #Occupy DC Kitchen Shuts Down After Health Department Says Camp Infested With Rats – With Video

Jan 7, 2012 3 Comments ›› Pat Dollard

WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) — DC’s health director says rats are infesting the Occupy encampment in McPherson Square.

Mohammad Akhter personally inspected the protest zone and said there are signs rodents are thriving there on the food and garbage from the outdoor kitchen.

With winter setting in, he’s worried as well about fires and hypothermia.

Occupiers were cleaning camp, after at least one informal complaint to the Health Department about the mess.

The city struggles to control rodents in the best of times.

And the city’s health director — touring the encampment — says he’s worried the scores of Occupiers living, cooking and eating outside may be feeding the population of rats.

Occupiers deny it. “I was in this park before Occupy began,” says Mark “Bear” Parker. We had rats all the time. A lot of people leave food lying around. You’re going to have rats attracted to it.”

The unofficial Occupy chef has voluntarily shut down the kitchen for now. He’s been trying to lay down some rules for a movement that celebrates it’s lack of leaders.