US

Tucson begins evicting protesters from downtown homeless encampment

  • In this Feb. 25, 2015 photo, Sonny Clenny, 29, sits near a “dream pod” in downtown Tucson, Ariz., at a park where protesters have made a permanent home. The protesters at Veinte de Agosto Park say the growing encampment on a small, one-acre green space is a way to combat city regulations they believe unfairly target the homeless. For city officials and business owners, it’s an eyesore that unfairly takes space away pedestrians and chases away visitors and tourists and their dollars. (AP Photo/Astrid Galvan)

    In this Feb. 25, 2015 photo, Sonny Clenny, 29, sits near a “dream pod” in downtown Tucson, Ariz., at a park where protesters have made a permanent home. The protesters at Veinte de Agosto Park say the growing encampment on a small, one-acre green space is a way to combat city regulations they believe unfairly target the homeless. For city officials and business owners, it’s an eyesore that unfairly takes space away pedestrians and chases away visitors and tourists and their dollars. (AP Photo/Astrid Galvan)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Feb. 25, 2015 photo, Giovanni and Michelle Griffie pose outside a wooden pod that was their home for a week in a downtown Tucson, Ariz., park before they got an apartment. The couple has lived on the streets on and off for several years and joined a growing group of protesters who say Tucson city regulations unfairly target the homeless. City officials and business owners say the camp has grown too large and unsafe.(AP Photo/Astrid Galvan)

    In this Feb. 25, 2015 photo, Giovanni and Michelle Griffie pose outside a wooden pod that was their home for a week in a downtown Tucson, Ariz., park before they got an apartment. The couple has lived on the streets on and off for several years and joined a growing group of protesters who say Tucson city regulations unfairly target the homeless. City officials and business owners say the camp has grown too large and unsafe.(AP Photo/Astrid Galvan)  (The Associated Press)

A large group of homeless campers is leaving a downtown Tucson park after the city issued removal notices.

The protesters have until Friday evening to remove the nearly 40 wooden sleeping pods and several tents set up around downtown.

Many have already begun leaving, and police are monitoring.

The city issued notices Tuesday after a federal judge told city attorneys that an order he issued previously does not stop them from removing the pods and tents. The order stops the city from enforcing a rule that allows the homeless to have only three small belongings on city sidewalks.

The campers say they are protesting unjust city ordinances that target the homeless.

Business owners and city leaders say the camp unfairly takes space from pedestrians and visitors. They also say the camp risks public health.