Occupy Atlanta costing city thousands

by: Richard Elliot Updated:

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said Thursday the Occupy Atlanta protests have cost the city less than $30,000 over the past two weeks.

Those expenditures are for things like police presence and portable toilets. At the same time, he refused to take off the table the option of evicting those protesters at a later date.

"We're really trying to work this out in a nonviolent fashion that really does not bring dishonor to the city, respects civil disobedience," Reed told Channel 2's Richard Elliot. "We're spending some money in order to try and bring this to an orderly conclusion."

Occupy Atlanta's Rob Call said they never asked for help from the city.

"The city has volunteered those services," Call said. "We have not asked for them. I think if we're going to talk public expenditures, having some port-o-potties is pretty minor."

Occupy Atlanta tried to expand ts protests into Buckhead on Thursday with a planned march through Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza. But the demonstration got sidetracked when several protesters apparently got lost riding MARTA to the Lenox Station.

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Other protesters, wearing duct tape over their mouths, attempted to enter Lenox Square, but mall security turned them away. One demonstrator told Elliot that they didn't realize Lenox was private property and that they could not legally protest inside.

Reed extended his executive order this week, allowing Occupy Atlanta to remain in Woodruff Park until Nov. 7. But when asked if he ever saw a time when he would have to go into the park and evict the protesters, Reed gave a firm answer.

"I'm not taking anything off the table," he said. "I've been clear that despite the fact that we passed an extension, I'm not taking any option off the table for the city of Atlanta."



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