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Occupy Atlanta prepares for possible park eviction | News

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Occupy Atlanta prepares for possible park eviction
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ATLANTA -- After camping in Woodruff Park for 10 days, Occupy Atlanta organizers are preparing for a possible deadline to leave or face arrest on Monday.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Occupy Movements Nationwide

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed signed an executive order last week to allow protesters to remain in the park legally until the Atlanta City Council meeting adjourns on Monday. The meeting starts at 1 p.m. 

Occupy Atlanta will be joined by members of the Atlanta-North Georgia Labor Council for a "Solidarity Stand" at 4 p.m. on Monday.

At a news conference last Wednesday, Reed said he sympathizes with the protesters.

He said given Atlanta's reputation as the cradle of the modern civil rights movement, it would not sit well if the protesters were removed from the park.

Reed said there had been a lot of complaints from downtown area residents about the protesters, and particularly about noise past 11 p.m.

Tim Franzen, a vocal member of the Occupy Atlanta group holding court in Woodruff Park, said the group understands and acknowledges the noise complaints and that they would work to be more quiet after 11 p.m.

Franzen said the group, which does not have a permit to remain in the park, has no plans to leave. He said they are ready to "lay our bodies down" for their cause.

When asked if some of the protesters were intent on being arrested, Mayor Reed said it may come to that, but he wants any arrests to be as peaceful and non-violent as possible.

Reed said the city's attorney was of the opinion that he had the power to do this by executive order, which supersedes any city ordinances tied to the group's occupation of the park.

Atlanta city councilman Michael Julian Bond said a number of his constituents have complained about the presence of the protesters. He told 11Alive's Paul Crawley Wednesday that while he appreciates and sympathizes with the protesters, their point has been made.

"There are still laws that have to be obeyed and a process that has to take place," the councilman said.

Bond did not indicate a time frame on how soon he thought the protesters should leave.

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