Occupy Atlanta Protesters Removed From Woodruff Park

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

ATLANTA, GA 10/26/2011 -- -- With helicopters hovering overhead, police moved into a downtown Atlanta park and arrested around 50 Occupy Wall
Street protesters who had been encamped there for about two weeks
early Wednesday.

Like in many other cities, protesters had been camping in Woodruff Park to rally against what they see as corporate greed and a wide range of other economic issues.

Before police moved in, protesters were warned a couple times around midnight to vacate the park or risk arrest.

Inside the park, the warnings were drowned out by drumbeats and chants of "Our park!"

Organizers had instructed participants to be peaceful if arrests came, and most were. Many gathered in the center of the park, locking arms, and sang "We Shall Overcome," until police led them out, one-by-one to waiting buses. Some were dragged out while others left on foot, handcuffed with plastic ties.

Police included SWAT teams in riot gear, dozens of officers on motorcycles and several on horseback. By about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday
the park was mostly cleared of protesters.

State Sen. Vincent Fort was among those arrested and had come to the park in support of the protesters in recent days. He said the police presence was "overkill."

"He's using all these resources ... This is the most peaceful place in Georgia," Fort said, referring to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. "At the urging of the business community, he's moving people out. Shame on him."

Some protesters could be overhead saying they would return to the park at 6 a.m. Wednesday, when it would be legal for them to be there.

"It's real simple: This is a crisis of priorities that this small group of campers ... is the greatest threat in this city.

It's outrageous," said organizer Tim Franzen.

Mayor Reed on Monday said he planned to revoke the permit allowing Occupy Atlanta protesters to live in the park, but was vague about when that might come.

Late Tuesday, police started surrounding the park at a busy intersection, and some protesters gathered up their tents, pillows, sleeping bags and other belongings, saying they didn't want to lose them. Right after the order to leave, some did, standing outside the barricades.

Hundreds of others stood on Atlanta's famous Peachtree Street, booing police. They shouted "Shame!" and "Who do you protect? Who do you serve?"

Reed said he was upset over an advertised hip-hop concert that he said drew 600 people to the park over the weekend but didn't have a permit and didn't have security guards to work the crowd, calling it irresponsible.

Members of Reed's staff were at the scene of the arrests and many said the mayor had also arrived and might give a statement. No statement had been released early Wednesday.

As police moved in, protesters chanted, "Who's park, our park," and "We are here, we are stronger, we can't take it any longer."

TV images showed the number of police far outnumbering the protesters.

The arrests in Atlanta appeared peaceful. In Oakland, Calif., police shot tear gas in response to rock throwing from some of the demonstrators who had gathered there, authorities said.

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  • by Georgia Boy Location: Cairo on Oct 28, 2011 at 02:21 AM
    The Tea Party isn't complaining about having to pay taxes, it is complaining about how those taxes are being spent. If the only way to stop Federal wild spending is to reduce what they have to spend, which means cutting taxes, then so be it. On the other hand, I can't tell what Occupy Whatever is objecting to, other than corporations and other forms of business not "spreading the wealth" to them. Seems they are whining because they are not getting theirs. Well, you have the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" in this country. You aren't guaranteed you will be provided anything. So get out and pursue rising above your "gimme" mentality on your own sweat and toil.
  • by The Taxpay Yours on Oct 26, 2011 at 03:44 PM
    This comment has been deleted.
    • reply
      by ? on Oct 27, 2011 at 07:22 AM in reply to The Taxpay Yours
      Huh? The Tea Party is a group of folks whining about having to pay taxes. The Occupy group is whining that big corporations don't pay enough taxes. They're pretty closely aligned, but one is fighting against greed. I like taxes; they make this country strong. If you don't want taxes, move to Somalia, or Haiti; how's that working out for them?
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Oct 27, 2011 at 01:35 PM in reply to ?
        That is the most misinformed comment I've read today.
      • reply
        by campheadmama on Oct 28, 2011 at 07:38 AM in reply to ?
        Please dont compare the Tea Party movement with the occupy movement. i am a proud Tea Party supporter and truly believe in what they are fighting for. These occupy people are a joke. While they "rally", the rest of us are working hard and taking care of our families. I would be ashamed to have ANY affiliation with them whatsoever. CAIN FOR PRESIDENT
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