I believe that every American has the right to protest. But they do not have the right to break local health, vagrancy and anti-drug laws for weeks and weeks.

To the editor:

I believe that every American has the right to protest. But they do not have the right to break local health, vagrancy and anti-drug laws for weeks and weeks. Some of the “Occupy” groups are not just protesting. The ones who have lived in one park/area for several months are breaking health code laws, anti-drug laws, vagrancy laws and are trashing the parks/areas. They have prevented other citizens from fully enjoying their own local parks.

Do the city of Independence and Jackson County have very specific laws to protect our local parks from people camping out in them for an extended time “protesting” and trashing them while breaking other local laws? The Boy Scouts camping out one night in February during their winter outing is understandable. Bless their hearts, if they can do it! Would our local police force and/or the Sheriff’s Department strictly enforce existing laws governing “vagrancy” in our local parks if a group tried to camp out there for an extended time?

How about it, Jackson County legislators, mayors and city councils? Will you make sure our local parks are protected? I asked my City Council representative this question about a month ago and have not heard back from him.