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Monday, October 17, 2011

Mayor Reed says Occupy Atlanta can continue to occupy Woodruff Park

Having set a deadline of 11 p.m. tonight for Occupy Atlanta protestors to vacate Woodruff Park, Mayor Kasim Reed has changed his tune, and now says they can stay (at least until the next City Council meeting). His office just sent out the following statement:

Civil disobedience is an appropriate form of expression, provided that it is peaceful, non-violent and lawful. As of today, the Occupy Atlanta protesters continue to assemble in a peaceful, non-violent fashion in Robert W. Woodruff Park. Therefore, I have extended the Executive Order allowing Occupy Atlanta to remain in Woodruff Park after the park closes. This Executive Order is effective through the adjournment of the next Atlanta City Council meeting on November 7, 2011.

I remain committed to ensuring public safety and enforcing the laws of the city. The Atlanta Police Department and other city officials continue to monitor the park and the protesters. The Executive Order does not preclude the city from responding at will to changing conditions in the park or to any public safety issues. The city is prepared to act swiftly should the situation in the park so warrant.

I am also cognizant of the concerns of neighboring businesses and residents about the effect of the protesters’ activity on the park and the surrounding area. The protesters cooperated with the city’s request to clean the park on Saturday; city crews pressure-washed the park’s hard-surfaces and removed litter and debris. The city will continue to maintain the park during the demonstration. My administration also will work with Occupy Atlanta members to minimize noise levels after 9 p.m. as a courtesy to downtown residents.

How do you feel about this, downtown residents? Occupiers? Tell us in the comments.

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