• Occupy Atlanta given order to leave Woodruff Park

    By: Linda Stouffer


    ATLANTA,None - Just before midnight, police started ordering Occupy Atlanta protesters to leave Woodruff Park.

    Occupy Atlanta protesters were met with more police Tuesday night. Just after 8 p.m. Channel 2's Ryan Young was there when about 50 police officers arrived at Woodruff Park.

    Youn said police also started shutting down streets around the park, but other than that there was no action against the protesters.

    Occupy Atlanta protesters have said from the beginning they are standing their ground. Organizers said Tuesday they will not leave, no matter what the mayor orders.

    Protesters have been camping out in Woodruff Park since Oct. 7 as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

    Channel 2's Linda Stouffer spent the day Tuesday at the Park with the protesters. Stouffer said there are so many tents in the park that Occupy Atlanta was trying to work on a numbering system to identify any free spaces for people to sleep.

    Atlanta police told Channel 2 Action News they are working 12-hour shifts patrolling the park.

    Ambassador and former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young met with organizers of Occupy Atlanta to give them advice.
    "I would tell you it's in your interest to pack up and go," Young said.

    Young said it's time for Occupy Atlanta to focus on the message and long haul.

    "You have to be very clear of what you are saying, and you have to have a consensus on what changes do you want in the American economy," Young told the protesters.

    One immediate change protesters wanted was to distance themselves from a man in the crowd holding a loaded AK-47 rifle.

    "We have nothing to do with this. We did our job and informed police and police are watching," Ron Allen with Occupy Atlanta said.

    The man told Stouffer his name was Porch and it was completely legal to walk around with his gun.


    Porch told Stouffer he was there, "to support the people that deserve to be in the park. They shouldn't be thrown out for peacefully protesting. They've got a right to be here just like anybody else."

    One protester said, "That's sabotaging the message, we're nonviolent."

    Allen said he wants Young and everyone else who comes through Woodruff Park, to know they are staying on message and there to stay.

    "We are sick and tired of the well-being of the 99 percent being putting second to the well-being of the 1 percent and corporations," Allen said.
    The man with the gun eventually left on his own.

    Mayor Kasim Reed says he intends to revoke his order allowing occupiers to stay. At last check, Reed had not revoked his order.


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