Occupy Atlanta marks anniversary of protests

by: Carl Willis Updated:

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ATLANTA —

Protestors involved in a series of Occupy Atlanta demonstrations last fall returned to Woodruff Park Sunday, to mark the one year anniversary of the movement.

A few dozen people turned out for the event, a far cry from the hundreds who camped out in the park last October, eventually clashing with police.

Members of the group told Channel 2's Carl Willis they wanted to reflect on the year that passed.

Willis talked to Jason Fountain, who was one of the first protestors arrested after Mayor Kasim Reed revoked an executive order that had let protestors stay in the park for weeks.

"I think a lot of good things happened," said Fountain. "I think maybe not everyone was in the right mindset at the time."

Atlanta Police kept a steady presence around the park just in case that mindset returned.

"I think I was doing what I think I was supposed to do at the time," said Fountain. "I think some good changes will come out of it."

"I think people are, in some ways, more inspired than ever," added Adam Wadley.

Those who remain vocal for Occupy Atlanta point to their work to help families avoid eviction from their homes, and their work with unions to save jobs as signs of impact.

"By taking a more self-critical approach at the same time as trying to stay relevant and talk about things that are important to people, I think we can move forward," said Wadley.

Occupy Atlanta members told Willis internal conflict and a fractured set of goals ultimately weakened their message.

"I think what we did maybe made a little change in the world," said Fountain. "I sure hope it did."

By Sunday night, the park was clear once again.

Mayor Reed estimated Occupy Atlanta and the police resources needed cost taxpayers between $451,000 and $456,000.