Atlanta Mayor to revoke executive order allowing Occupy Atlanta to stay in Woodruff

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  1. hvactec
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    hvactec VIP Member

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    Park

    7:38 p.m. Monday, October 24, 2011

    A mayor who said he's been more than reasonable and protesters who say they're undeterred by a heightened police presence faced off at City Hall today. About an hour later, police started facing off with "Occupy Atlanta" in Woodruff Park.

    At a tense press conference that started at about 4:45, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said some people associated with Occupy Atlanta are on "a clear path to escalation" after an unauthorized hip-hop concert over the weekend and an incident in which protesters chanted "Whose park? Our park!" -- shouting down a member of his staff during a television interview.

    Reed said he will revoke the executive order allowing Occupy Atlanta protesters to stay in Woodruff Park until Nov. 7. He did not say when that would occur, but said it would be at the time of his choosing and the city's fire and police departments would be ready to clear the downtown park at his command.

    There was a heavy police presence at the park on Monday, although things were calm from noon until late afternoon. People walked dogs and tossed discs in the park. Meanwhile, a SWAT team stood by. And at one point, a police helicopter swooped overhead.

    At about 5:30 Monday afternoon, large trucks carrying 3-foot metal fencing arrived at the park, followed by nearly a dozen police recruits in white T-shirts and blue pants. The group quickly went to work placing barricades around the park as protesters shouted and tried to ask questions.

    Other Atlanta Police Department officers stood guard, keeping onlookers back so the fencing could be set up. Police spokesman Carlos Campos said access to the park had not been restricted.

    "The park is still open," he said. "No exits or entrances are blocked at this time."

    Protest organizers handed papers instructing people how to continue the occupation even after the police move in.

    If protesters wished to be arrested, they should not resist and should remain peaceful, according to the paper, and should write a phone number for legal assistance on their arms. Other people could go to the Peachtree and Pine homeless shelter to sleep and regroup, or they could stay on the sidewalk and keep moving.

    "We will need people to be rested and ready at 6 a.m. to reoccupy the park," the handout said. "No matter what happens we will be reoccupying at 6 a.m. the day after arrests have been made."

    At the press conference, Reed said he planned to give a group of clergy -- some of whom joined him at the press conference at City Hall -- time to meet with the protesters and work out a solution.

    If that doesn't happen, "we are going to clear the park," he said.

    Before Reed came to the podium, Occupy Atlanta spokesman Tim Franzen said the mayor was treating Occupy Atlanta, rather than underlying ills in Atlanta, as the main problem.

    "Focusing on the things that brought us out -- foreclosures, homelessness, joblessness -- would be the best way to get rid of us," he said.

    At various points in the press conference, Occupy Atlanta protesters interrupted Reed and accused him of spin and of exaggerating the threat to citizens. Reed did not take the bait.

    "This is my press conference," he said. "We are in a place where we cannot have a productive dialogue."

    Since the protestors arrived in Woodruff Park on Oct. 7, they have had a strained relationship with some of the neighbors.

    read more video BREAKING: Atlanta Mayor to revoke executive order allowing Occupy Atlanta to stay in Woodruff Park  | ajc.com
     
  2. blastoff
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    blastoff Undocumented Reg. User

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    Good for the mayor. Let the vermin find some private property that'll have them.
     

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