Showdown time for Kasim Reed and Occupy Atlanta

I will have misjudged Kasim Reed if he allows this to happen again tonight (from the AJC):

The activists encamped at Woodruff Park plan to leave Tuesday afternoon for a protest march to a downtown Atlanta bank headquarters, but vowed in an e-mail to return to the park and remain there “for as long as it takes.”

The group’s vow to stay at the park comes after being told Monday night that they were violating city rules prohibiting remaining in city parks after 11 p.m. …

Late Tuesday morning, the number of protesters at the park had dwindled to around 75, with several dozen tents still pitched on the park’s grass. Those remaining on Tuesday morning were low-key, not chanting or carrying the protest signs that were seen on Monday.

An anticipated showdown between the protesters and police never materialized, as authorities made no effort to forcibly remove the group.

“We’re allowing the protesters the opportunity to leave the park peacefully,” Candace Byrd, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s chief of staff, said Monday night.

But no deadline was given at the impromptu press conference, and overnight police presence around the park was minimal. …

It’s uncertain how long the city will allow the group to stay. Byrd said officials held two meetings Monday with protest organizers to inform them of ordinances preventing “urban camping.”

Reed is as politically astute as any elected official from Georgia. Surely, he knows that it’s one thing to show some forbearance before telling the likes of the Occupy Atlanta folks to go home — and another thing altogether to watch them flout the law after being informed of it and given a chance to comply willingly.

Surely, that is, Reed knows that he can’t be seen by his constituents as unable or unwilling to enforce such a basic law.

Between the group’s brushing off Congressman John Lewis and taking advantage of Reed’s exceeding patience once already, I can’t imagine that forcing the group to leave would cause Reed nearly as many problems as letting them ignore him.

And if the group’s “leaders” can’t trust the protesters to show up again tomorrow if they have to go home tonight, well, I guess they don’t have much of a movement.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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89 comments Add your comment

A Reader

October 11th, 2011
3:18 pm

When was the last time you stood for something rather than hugging the sidelines with your pen and pad?

BULLSEYE

October 11th, 2011
3:18 pm

Reed needs to run the protestors out of the park so the regular bums can get some sleep.

Yahtzee

October 11th, 2011
3:19 pm

i don’t know…75 protestors sounds like a lot of chaos

arnold

October 11th, 2011
3:26 pm

Add a few Tea Party members to the mix. Would it be OK then? No. Reed loses no matter what he does. It’s a no winner for the city.

Chip

October 11th, 2011
3:28 pm

I say let them stay. The longer these pathetic, ignorant, selfish imbeciles make deranged public fools of themselves, the better.

Mary Kay

October 11th, 2011
3:33 pm

Wow, good job occupy atlanta. You are all very good kindergarteners and follow directions very well. Congratulations, you can now receive your diplomas and graduate to first grade. Keep following like sheep.

Independent Voter

October 11th, 2011
3:37 pm

Reed is getting on alot of people nerve do he know how to run this city. Look downtown look scary and spooky with all the homeless sleeping on the sidewalk why he cant let them sleep in the park.
Homeless people sleep in the park after 11pm.

Don't Tread

October 11th, 2011
3:49 pm

I don’t have a luxury car, luxury yacht, corporate jet, or a beach house.
I’ve been going about this the wrong way all this time. Maybe I should picket the homes of the uber-rich until I annoy them into giving me what I want. Sounds easier than working.

Frankie

October 11th, 2011
3:50 pm

@independent voter – grammar is a wonderful thing once you learn to use it..
Occupy your house and go home…even if you are fihting for jobs and for the rich to stop getting rich off of our backs this is not the way to do it. If you don’t like Bank of America, remove your money, take it somewhere else.
you are making a lot of noise and not saying anything. NO ONE can hear you because of your presentaion. I guess you think you are keeping the park workers employed by having to clean up after you…

@@

October 11th, 2011
3:51 pm

I like Kasim Reed. If the protesters are inconveniencing local business, residents and costing the taxpayers additional money, he’s obligated, as their mayor, to disband the protests.

If he does, my hands will be raised…my fingers will be wiggling.

1961_Boomer

October 11th, 2011
3:52 pm

So far, the main crux of these movements is that the public largess should be bestowed upon them. “Pay my mortgage/healthcare/student loans/etc”

When the movement is “Gimme because I perceive that you have given him” rather than “All of this gimme gimme gimme has to stop”, the movement is doomed to fail.

Hoockerzarfunn

October 11th, 2011
3:57 pm

I think the mayor is right on this one. These freaks and geeks are just looking for attention. By ignoring them and refusing to give them the pleasure of being filmed in a fracas with police forcing them from the park, they’ll just lose interest and go home. After all, this is the generation that needs input every 30 seconds to stay involved in something or they get bored. Sooner or later, they’ll have to recharge their i-phones, anyway.

Scooter

October 11th, 2011
3:57 pm

Do these protesters realize how many people’s retirements depend on corporations?

@@

October 11th, 2011
3:59 pm

I watched the LiveStream at Woodruff. Some guy asked another guy if he could film his profound statement. What was it, you may ask?

“We won the battle.”

WOO HOO!

What was the battle? They stayed beyond the designated departure time.

Alrighty din!

a whimperin’ woo hoo for you.

godless heathen

October 11th, 2011
4:02 pm

Loose the hounds!

joe

October 11th, 2011
4:05 pm

Would anyone in their right mind hire these neck-tatoo’d hippy-wannabe freaks? Wonder how much pot is being smoked at that park these days…

carlosgvv

October 11th, 2011
4:13 pm

People are now protesting all over the country. They do NOT say “gosh, I am bored and don’t have anything to do. I know! I’ll go downtown and protest”. People protest for a reason, and when the numbers are this large, you know that something is really wrong in America. I do not think this is just going to go away.

Truth

October 11th, 2011
4:22 pm

These are the same people who want something for nothing. Give me, not because I’ve earned it, but because you have more than me and thus you can do with less.

No sympathy for these idiots, regardless of their situation. This is America. Go out and get what you want and be proud, or sit on your duff and pontificate on what others should do and then blame them for your problems.

They should move to another country if they don’t like this one.

meno

October 11th, 2011
4:26 pm

So 1961_Boomer, this would be worse than the tea party simpletons wanting the public largess of social security, medicare, and farm subsidies continuing for them and then labeling everyone else as selfish moochers?

quick work break

October 11th, 2011
4:29 pm

“These freaks and geeks are just looking for attention.” Umm, duh–that’s kinda the point. They certainly don’t have the seemingly limitless funds funneled to them by a few billionaires like the tea party had.

Junior Samples

October 11th, 2011
4:30 pm

I think Kyle is missing a big opportunity here. A chance at the big time.
First, dress up like a pimp (a la James O’Keefe)…

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Thee Magnificent!!! mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

October 11th, 2011
4:30 pm

Paula Deen: Michelle Obama likes fried food too

“Well, I did a show with Michelle and I just loved being with her,” Deen told Yeas & Nays. “She probably ate more than any other guest I’ve ever had on the show —she kept eating even during commercials.”

Isn’t this so typically liberal, whine and blubber about other people being overweight and then gobble up all the fatty foods in sight.

oink, oink, ms obozo.

Bryan

October 11th, 2011
4:30 pm

Speaking for all of those actively trying to get jobs rather than uselessly protest, I hope they stay in the park for another few months to give us time to get these interviews out of the way.

independent voter

October 11th, 2011
4:31 pm

these ARE the 1% of losers… protesting success in a free market economy ??? 90% plus are too hard at work to protest.. It’s always been this way… Herman Cain too busy going to school.. successful military and business career to protest.. compare him to Al Sharpton on MSNBC… WOW.. pick your sides..

Don't Tread

October 11th, 2011
4:34 pm

I wonder how many of these people would be working at one of those “evil” corporations right now if things had turned out differently (say, the economy tanked in 2015 instead of 2008-09). Hmmmmm…

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Thee Magnificent!!! mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

October 11th, 2011
4:35 pm

Herman Cain to Harry Belafonte: I Left the Democrat Plantation a Long Time Ago

Just sayin…

Uncle Jed

October 11th, 2011
4:35 pm

People protest for a reason, and when the numbers are this large, you know that something is really wrong in America.
++++++++++++++++++++++

Reason, thy name is Obama. The POTUS loves this trumped up diversion from his daily failings in what is supposed to be a leadership role, not a community agitator gig.

@@

October 11th, 2011
4:42 pm

Christie endorses Romney?

Why wouldn’t he? In their enthusiasm to discredit Christie, the MSM quickly painted him as a RINO.

Herman’s poll numbers have room for expansion. Romney’s have flattened out.

Junior Samples

October 11th, 2011
4:44 pm

Kyle hates Freedom of assembly, therfore, Kyle hates the Constitution.

And “brushing off Congressman John Lewis”???
Tell the truth Kyle, tell the truth. You work for the same paper that reported this truth yesterday.

Bill Hilly

October 11th, 2011
4:45 pm

Funny how the cons posting on here have no idea what the protests are about, as you have been brainwashed and told by the Fox talking heads that this is all anti-capitalism. News flash – it’s not. It’s about the takeover of our government by corporate America.

Junior Samples

October 11th, 2011
4:46 pm

Bill Hilly,

Please don’t bother them with facts, because everytime you do, an angel loses it’s wings.

Lynn

October 11th, 2011
4:52 pm

On the contrary, the Mayor stands to lose a great deal if he becomes associated with the 1 percent.

thewindwhistler

October 11th, 2011
4:55 pm

Hold your horses. There should be an eviction order executed and then a heaRIng to see if there is enough evidence to move forward. Just maybe, the city does not have a clear title to the ground that the encampment is on. The law shall take its course, why to forcibly evict these peceful, god fearing people flies in the face of the constitution.

Furthermore, all the facilities for bATHING, as well as portable bathrooms, not portapotties, the real flush type that Bill and Hillary had for their daughters wedding reception.

Lynn

October 11th, 2011
4:57 pm

@Uncle Jed — the economic problems that these folks are protesting happened under President George W. Bush’s watch…while everybody was busy starting endless, expensive wars and doing away with meaningful oversight for corporations. The current President — while not perfect — has been trying very hard to clean up W.’s mess. And it’s a really big mess.

Don't Tread

October 11th, 2011
4:59 pm

“you have been brainwashed and told by the Fox talking heads that this is all anti-capitalism”

Hmmm….let’s see. Signs that say “End Corporate Greed.”
How about “Eat The Rich”?
“Jail Bank Parasites”
“You Can Never Find A Good Left-Wing Military Coup When You Want One”
“Billionaires: Your Time Is Up”
“Money Hungry Fascist Bankers”

…etc.

Looks like anti-capitalism to me.

The LAW

October 11th, 2011
5:02 pm

They should either obey the law or face the consequences – ARREST and JAIL.

The good people of the city of Atlanta, decided, through their representatives on the city council, that parks are closed after 11 pm.

@@

October 11th, 2011
5:06 pm

The OWS protest is about the diminishing middle class.

Most, not all of the protesters I’ve seen interviewed should BE IN CLASS. They have no class, nor are they old enough to be part of a class. Their parents? Maybe.

Many of the older protesters are re-living their radical youth. Parents like that rarely ask much of their children. They usually encourage them to be free spirits or some such nonsense. Free spirits wanting everything given to them freely.

That’s not how real life plays out.

Jim Crowe

October 11th, 2011
5:07 pm

The middle class is disappearing in this country as the super rich gobble up more and more of the money.

The protests you see are a result of that.

“Why shouldn’t the American people take half my money from me? I took all of it from them.”

Edward Albert Filene (1869-1937)

Filene (of Boston’s Filene’s Department Stores) founded the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to encourage businesses to contribute to the welfare of their communities. He eventually quit the organization, disappointed that it had become a bastion of right-wing conservatism and an anti-tax lobby.

Jefferson

October 11th, 2011
5:11 pm

You better listen to those folks, the truth scares people eh?

Don't Tread

October 11th, 2011
5:12 pm

Jim, were you the one holding the “Eat The Rich” sign?

DawgDad

October 11th, 2011
5:13 pm

Meno: I’m a Tea Party sympathizer. I’ve been funding OTHER PEOPLE’s Social Security benefits for over 40 years. Are you wanting to PROVE ME RIGHT about the inevitable empty promises of socialism? Huh?

Ellen

October 11th, 2011
5:16 pm

I think it’s perfectly acceptable that 1% own 99% of the wealth, power and influence in the US–just like a third world country. I don’t know why more middle class and working class people don’t seem to mind…. Maybe they are brainwashed into thinking that rich people are better than they are, more hardworking than they are, more blessed by God than they are…

Uncle Jed

October 11th, 2011
5:21 pm

@Uncle Jed — the economic problems that these folks are protesting happened under President George W. Bush’s watch…
++++++++++++++++++++++++

While such a statement may conveniently fit your preferred narrative, the reality is that the bloated federal government and its operatives (party affiliations notwithstanding) have for decades been failing to properly manage and operate what is supposed to be a limited federal bureaucracy and have instead grown the damn thing into the unmanagebale juggernaut that way too many have come to rely upon for their daily and monthly sustinence.

And with all due respect, which is unknown to me as I do not know you personally, our current president has done a woefully inadequate job at best. I submit he is more interested in throwing gala social events; playing golf; and reading lofty and accusatory missives; all the while, attempting to divert attention from his own shortcomings. He will soon be returned to a community in search of an organizer and our country can get on about the business of improving and prospering.

Jefferson

October 11th, 2011
5:21 pm

The “tea” reps are just pawns.

Uncle Jed

October 11th, 2011
5:22 pm

Jim, were you the one holding the “Eat The Rich” sign?
++++++++++++++

Paula Deen just texted that it was Moochelle Obama waving that placard while wolfing down a dozen Krispy Kremes.

DawgDad

October 11th, 2011
5:24 pm

Ellen: The vast majority of people who consider themselves “blessed by God” are not obsessed with wealth envy. Think about that for a moment, please.

Uncle Jed

October 11th, 2011
5:24 pm

Ellen

October 11th, 2011
5:16 pm
++++++++++++++++

You do have a point there, Ellen, but what is it?

Jefferson

October 11th, 2011
5:29 pm

Why not start writing speeding tickets inside the perimeter for anyone going over 60 ? It the law right?

Filter

October 11th, 2011
5:31 pm

Keep it up folks. Dismiss this growing discontent at your peril. I felt the ground shake when the GOP overreached in Wisconsin with the Union bust, it shook more when the GOP held us all hostage with the debt ceiling debacle. Now there’s that shaking again.

I will confess that this may just be a flash in the pan BUT if these people become organized it could prove to be a seismic shift in the political landscape. Regular people are getting tired of being fed scraps from the table as our corporate overlords whip their lackeys into hues and cries of “wealth envy” and “class warfare”. It’s worked for an awful long time. But as the “job creators” continue to enjoy their corporate welfare programs without deigning to create jobs, well people begin to see that the emperor has no clothes.

Time will tell what this all means but I believe that a hasty dismissal of these protest is done at your own risk.

DawgDad

October 11th, 2011
5:36 pm

“if these people become organized ” The reports I’ve seen indicate the Occupy protests ARE organized. Guess I can’t trust ANYTHING I read or see in the liberal media anymore.