They came, they camped, they got thrown in jail.
The Occupiers of Atlanta, or at least of Woodruff Park, logged nearly three weeks of unlawful “urban camping” before finally pushing their luck with Mayor Kasim Reed. About one week into a three-week extension of the permission he’d granted the Occupiers to stay in the park, Reed sent in the police. The mayor said some Occupiers had demonstrated they “were on a clear path to escalation.”
Unlike in Oakland, Calif., the arrests went peacefully. Now the Atlanta Occupiers say they’re moving on to a new location — and will eventually return to Woodruff, because it “is the people’s park.” (Sure it is. And the people’s duly elected representatives have made laws governing the people’s park.)
But the question remains: Were the Occupiers kicked out of Woodruff too soon, or too late?
How do you rate Kasim Reed's actions toward Occupy Atlanta?
Total Voters: 233
On one hand, Reed had authorized their stay in Woodruff through Nov. 7 — and, given that he’d already extended his executive order once before, it’s fair to wonder if he meant “at least Nov. 7.” Absent some kind of riot or imminent public threat, why not stick to that plan?
On the other hand, a city ordinance clearly prohibits overnight camping in public parks. Why should Reed have allowed this group to violate the law — at a cost to the city of tens of thousands of dollars, even before last weekend’s flare-up — when other groups have followed the protocol for requesting similar park usage and been denied? (With Reed, maybe it truly is better to ask forgiveness than permission.)
That’s this week’s Poll Position. Answer in the nearby poll and in the comments thread below.
– By Kyle Wingfield