Monday, October 24, 2011

UPDATE — Is the city letting Occupy Atlanta stay in the park or not? NOPE.

Posted By on Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 5:35 PM

UPDATE: Mayor Kasim Reed announced at a press conference this afternoon that he would be revoking the executive order he'd previously issued that allowed Occupy Atlanta protestors to remain in Woodruff Park after 11 p.m.

He didn't say when it will happen, but said that the police will be prepared to clear the park when he gives the go-ahead.


At 4 p.m., Mayor Kasim Reed will hold a press conference to discuss Occupy Atlanta, presumably because there's a lot of conflicting information floating around — and a lot of mixed signals being sent.

Last week, Reed issued a statement that the protestors would not be forced to leave Woodruff Park (at least until the next City Council meeting) because civil disobedience is an "appropriate form of expression." Apparently, he gave Occupy Atlanta representatives a different impression altogether.

Here's an example of what's causing the confusion (from the AJC):

Late Saturday evening, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s office denied an Occupy Atlanta leader’s assertion that protesters who have been camped at Woodruff Park had to leave Saturday or face arrest.

“There has been no such order,” Reed spokeswoman Sonji Dade told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “That is not true.”

Occupy Atlanta leader Tim Franzen emerged from a meeting with the mayor several hours earlier Saturday and said a livid Reed had demanded that protesters who have occupied the park for several weeks clear out.

“He was very angry, very upset,” said Franzen, who added that the mayor began “yelling right away” after they entered the mobile unit.

Franzen said Occupy Atlanta was given no specific time to clear the park. “He’s not being specific.” He said the mayor warned that protesters remaining will “get their wish” to be arrested.

And despite the city's insistence that Occupy Atlanta is essentially being permitted to break the law by staying overnight in the downtown park, APD officers have been placed on detail to monitor protestors, a move that's likely to put strain on department resources.

Check back for Reed's comments.

More photos from Occupy Atlanta

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Occupy Atlanta

Occupy Atlanta

This is a gallery of images documenting the Occupy Atlanta protests in Atlanta. The "occupation" started October 7 with hundreds of people gathering in Woodruff Park. Occupy Atlanta is part of a growing number of protests across the United States that started with a gathering of protesters in New York City called Occupy Wall Street.

By Joeff Davis

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