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Fort Myers artist fights Occupy movement


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  • | 5:56 p.m. October 31, 2011
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Leoma Lovegrove, one of region's most high profile and successful artists, doesn't have any patience for the handful of anti-capitalist protesters camping out in downtown Fort Myers.

Lovegrove says the protesters are harming downtown retailers by scaring customers away, so she decided to paint signs that poke fun at the motley crew. One of our favorites reads: “If you're sleeping in the park, you're in the dark.”

Lovegrove's humorous signs are for sale at the Lovegrove Art Gallery at the Franklin Shops in downtown Fort Myers, also known as the River District. But while the signs are amusing, the artist says she and other business owners are worried about how Occupy Wall Street protesters are harming downtown commerce.

“When people hear that hundreds of protesters are marching through downtown and in the park, they are hesitant to come down here,” says Lovegrove. “I'm sure the occupiers believe they are doing something positive but the truth is that their presence here is hurting many business owners and their employees.”

The signs cost $10 and $15 each and Lovegrove says the proceeds will be used to help pay for city permits to hold the next Tea Party rally in Fort Myers. Last year, those permits cost $3,500.

 

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