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Occupy Atlanta Can Stay Through Nov. 7

Mayor, citing peaceful and non-violent nature of group, extends deadline

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed extended the deadline by which the Occupy Atlanta protesters have to leave Woodruff Park in Downtown to Nov. 7.

The mayor had previously said they were to leave by Oct. 17.

"Civil disobedience is an appropriate form of expression, provided that it is peaceful, non-violent and lawful," Reed said in a statement. "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."

The mayor stressed public safety remains a priority and that the city is "prepared to act swiftly should the situation in the park so warrant."

The protesters, part of a national Occupy movement targeting what they say is Wall Street greed and government corruption, took over the park Oct. 7, and have stayed there since.

The park, known for being a haven for the homeless, has become something of a city within a city, with several protesters setting up clusters of pup tents and larger tents erected as medic and childcare centers.

Monday, many of the protesters said they are committed to staying in the park for as long as it takes.

Jonah Bautista, a food server from Little Five Points, said it's time individuals understand they have a voice and ought to use it if they want to have a say in the future left for proceeding generations.

"Each individual has a voice," he said.

Echoing a common sentiment voiced by several protesters, Bautista said politicians must listen to their constituents instead of issuing orders without input from them.

"You can't make decisions without discussion," he said. "That doesn't work anymore."

Jay Bell October 19, 2011 at 12:02 PM
The Mayor is setting a dangerous precendent here, and seriously endangering his political future. I hope he knows what he's doing. My nude Greco-Roman wrestling club is thinking about occupying Centennial Park for a few weeks later this year.
Péralte Paul (Editor) October 19, 2011 at 03:23 PM
I wondered about that, too. I think part of what works in the protesters' favor is that Woodruff Park is not a tourist draw like Piedmont or Centennial Olympic. I think had the protest been in those areas, it would be different. As to your Greco-Roman wrestling club, you'd get a bigger audience in Midtown. Just sayin'...
John Public October 19, 2011 at 04:33 PM
Anyone want to make a name for yourself in local news? Dig into ordinance 2-182 of the City of Atlanta municipal code. On 10/17 Mayor Reed issued Executive Order 2011-3 consecutive to 2011-2 without a ratifying vote on 2011-2 by the City Council. By doing so, Mayor Reed is circumvented the legislative intent of Section 2-182 and violated a city of Atlanta ordinance.

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