Your morning jolt: A hip-hop concert becomes weak spot for Occupy ATL

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. left, is separated from Occupy Atlanta protesters, right, by a securtiy guard as they face off during the mayor's press conference at City Hall in Atlanta on Monday afternoon. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. left, is separated from Occupy Atlanta protesters, right, by a securtiy guard as they face off during the mayor's press conference at City Hall in Atlanta on Monday afternoon. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

The man with Ludacris’ phone number sought the high ground in the battle for Woodruff Park on Monday.

In press conference packed with weirdness, Mayor Kasim Reed announced that Occupy Atlanta protesters would be cleared from the green space “at a time of my choosing.”

He asked a cadre of religious leaders, lined up behind him, to negotiate a peaceful exit for Occupy Atlanta. If there is no deal, force will be used, the mayor promised.

But it was the way the mayor built his case before reporters – arguing he was obligated to oust a group he had sanctioned two weeks ago — that was unusual. In declaring that the city’s relationship with Occupy Atlanta had changed for the worse, the former music industry attorney based his decision largely on his familiarity with the rules of outdoor hip-hop events.

By way of background, first  consider these lines from an old biography:

”[Reed] has also become a fixture in entertainment law, especially in Atlanta’s explosive hip-hop and R&B music scene. Relationships, he says, going back to his days at Howard [University], led to that role. “I went to school with a group of people who were on their way up,” says Reed, such as Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, who was “the most confident person I’ve met.”

Back to Monday. The press conference was called for 4 p.m.  on an hours’ notice. In addition to reporters, a dozen members of Occupy Atlanta scrambled to the second-floor event. As did Joe Beasley, southern director for the Rainbow/PUSH organization, who has taken the group under his wing.

Reed began with an obligatory statement of respect for First Amendment rights in a city filled with civil rights heroes, living and dead. But he quickly moved to a hip-hop concert that Occupy Atlanta had planned for last Saturday.

Said Reed:

”This event promoter did not have a security plan. In fact, the team that was responsible for preparing the security plan for this event promoter quit on Tuesday of last week. So he was attempting to hold a two-day hip-hop event without police protection.

“This gentleman also submitted a $2,500 payment for the permit that is related to that event through a check, which is not an acceptable for the city of Atlanta.”

“Mayor, that’s a lie,” said Beasley, who had stationed himself within a dozen feet of the mayor. Occupy Atlanta forces, with a red-capped Tim Franzen acting as the main voice, stood behind him.

“And this is easily verifiable,” continued an unperturbed mayor:

“Most importantly, He did not have police protection at the event. As of Saturday, when the hip-hop organizers arrived at Woodruff, they had not submitted payment in the appropriate form, and did not have adequate security.”

“In the meantime, this event was advertised on V-103. It included a number of artists, and also included the hip-hop artist Ludacris, who never planned on attending, and was not attending. So you have an event that does not have an appropriate police plan, being advertised on the largest urban radio station in the state of Georgia. This created an untenable situation….”

The mayor described a Saturday that had drawn 600 hip-hop fans to the downtown park. When his communications director and chief of staff arrived to announce that the permit for the concert had been revoked, they were shouted down, and required police protection, the mayor said.

“That’s not true. That’s a lie. That’s a lie,” said Beasley.

“They were never in danger,” Franzen protested.

“Run the video, please,” the mayor said. And after a little fumbling, a large TV screen at Reed’s right hand showed local news video of the Saturday confrontation.

Franzen appeared in a frame. “We do whatever we want,” he said.

“Y’all here that?” the mayor asked reporters.

“There’s a context to that,” a defensive, real-life Franzen declared.

The mayor moved on to a second, and less-convincing, argument for removing Occupy Atlanta. The city fire marshal had banned combustible liquids from the park. That included gasoline-powered generators required by the Saturday hip-hop concert.

The protestors had smuggled a generator in anyway, in a mail bag. And when police attempted to seize it, campers formed a human chain around around the chugging machine. “Having human beings place their body on a combustible generator” was dangerous, the mayor said.

Reed quickly returned to the hip-hop concert proper. “I have always said I’m going to do what is necessary to keep citizens of this city safe. And having a hip-hop concert without having an appropriate police plan…” the mayor said.

“Then why don’t you address what brought us out here in the first place — 30,000 homeless, foreclosures,” shouted Franzen.

Reed plodded on: “What they have done is change the nature of the relationship….”

“This is an outrageous narrative,” Franzen charged. He might have said “ludicrous,” but he didn’t.

“….I believe they placed lives at risk this weekend,” Reed said to the cameras.

“Oh, my God,” said Franzen, his voice dripping with disbelief.

Said Reed:

”I believe that people showed up at a city of Atlanta park to go to a hip-hop concert. And you don’t need to do extensive research to see what can happen when hundreds of people show up for a hip-hop concert, artists who are advertised are not there, and when there are not police there to protect the event….”

Reed closed by speaking of a woman he had run into outside Woodruff Park on Saturday. She had come to see Ludacris, not Occupy Atlanta.

Ludacris, a.k.a. Christopher Brian Bridges, was a donor to Reed’s 2009 campaign for mayor. “I spoke with Ludacris,” the mayor said. “He was never coming to the park. You’ve had people killed in concerts where artists who were promised do not show up all across the country. This happens all the time.”

A reporter pointed out to the mayor that the V-103 ads didn’t say Ludacris would perform – just that he would be honored at the event. Which, to the mayor, made no difference.

“This is a spin. This is B.S.,” Franzen said loudly.

Which is when Reed re-introduced his clergy/negotiators. “We are not in a place where we can have productive dialogue,” the mayor closed.

***
Not wanting to be left out of the party, Debbie Dooley of Atlanta Tea Party Patriots says her group has sent this e-mail to Mayor Kasim Reed:

We have noticed that the City of Atlanta has waived many of your ordinances, fees, etc., in regard to the Occupy Atlanta protests. We have called in the past to find out information for events on City of Atlanta venues like Woodruff Park and have been told it would require a permit and fees and there were restrictions.

In the future, Atlanta Tea Party expects to receive the same “benefits” or waiving of fees, permits, restrictions that you have accorded the Occupy Atlanta protests. If we don’t, we seek legal action. Thank you for your attention in this.

Dooley says the tea partyers have received no reply.

***
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul’s claim that rival Herman Cain had declared opponents of the Federal Reserve to be “ignorant.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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183 comments Add your comment

Dash Riptide

October 25th, 2011
9:47 am

I’m not leaving. Or bathing. Ever.

Independent voter

October 25th, 2011
9:50 am

Kasim Reed going to lose votes because of his angry towards Occupy Atlanta he seem like a angry black man.

GLK

October 25th, 2011
9:57 am

Just run the idiots out. They’ll go back to their mom’s basement or Little Five, still neglect to shower, still be clueless mooches, but they’ll be annoying a smaller number of people.

History will Teach Us if We Will Learn

October 25th, 2011
10:08 am

If only reality TV was this good! It seems like Snooky or one of the Kardashians should have been there.

td

October 25th, 2011
10:09 am

I do not understand what is wrong with this group arriving at 8am every morning and leaving at dark? They can exercise there free speech rights and also follow the law. Unless their plan is to break the law until the city is forced to take action. If that is the case then I hope the police will not give them special treatment when they take them to jail, they should be put in the general population and shown what it is really like to go to jail.

The Oldman

October 25th, 2011
10:12 am

Independent voter, you nor the Occupy Bums voted for Kasim Reed, go to south georgia and help the farmers pick their crops and get out our park………….

Dave The Wave

October 25th, 2011
10:12 am

I went to the park yesterday to donate food, medical supplies, and water. The protesters were all gone – to the court house event I suppose – and the street people took all of the donations as fast as I unloaded them on the donation table. So much for that effort …

Centrist

October 25th, 2011
10:13 am

Sad that the mayor feels he needs an excuse to remove squatters who are making a public park a filthy eyesore.

Even sadder that the leftist media like this blog take up for these misfits.

Dave The Wave

October 25th, 2011
10:14 am

And it sounds like going back is probably not such a good idea. I might get the pepper spray and plastic handcuff treatment that is about to happen.

Devil's Advocate

October 25th, 2011
10:16 am

Occupy was obviously trying to increase the “dark faces” in the crowd by false advertising a hip hop concert. Mayer Reed needs to get them out by any means necessary. And the Tea Party needs to not play the petty game of fee waving. I’d rather see more action towards fixing our country than “me too” politics.

JacketFanMarcus

October 25th, 2011
10:16 am

It’s amazing how the anti-Kasim Reed crowd has jumped in to support the Occupy Atlanta bandwagon.

Now Derrick Boazman (where has he been) and Vincent Fort have jump-in to support these occupiers. Those guys are media hounds, just looking for a reason to get on camera and agitate the Atlanta business establishment.

And I can’t believe the Atlanta media is letting those guys speak for the original founders of the movement.

Al

October 25th, 2011
10:16 am

Mayor Reed has handled this exceptionally well. Ms. Dooly should be ashamed of trying to grab attention during this situation. Reed is correct that lives are in danger and while I sense there are many of of “let them die” crowd who post in this blog, I suggest that even misguided or criminally bent human beings are, well, human beings and if we are to survive as a species, we must give respect to all. This doesn’t mean that there are no consequences to misguided behavior or criminal conduct. It just means that we owe it to ourselves to act with dignity in every endeavor.
It is likely that the removal of those in Woodruff Park will be violent and may, in fact give strength to a group that is not, as far as can be seen, in any way on the same message as the Occupy Wall Street group.
The message is the frightening truth about wealth in this country. When candidate Obama spoke of “redistribution of wealth” there was a hue and cry of “socialism” among many who claim the conservative banner. Be reminded that “conservatism” is the belief in status quo mixed in with a little individualism. What those crying “socialism” failed to acknowledge is that there has already been a dramatic redistribution of wealth and it is this redistribution that is hurting us. In fact, President Obama has not connected the dots of his message and that has been a weakness in his leadership efforts on this subject. The redistribution he spoke of so inartfully was, in fact, the return to the distribution equilibrium of 1980 or close thereto.

60 Minutes recently ran a segment that posited the following: In 1980 the top 1% earners earned 10% of all the $ earned. 27 years later, the top 1% “earned” more than 23% of all the $ earned. 60 Minutes cites IRS figures available to anyone. But the issue needs greater examination across the full cast of earners in this country.
If you add that during the latter part of that period the moderately wealthy became worse off and the lower middle class fell into poverty, some conclusions about our condition comes to fore.
Just a few numbers paint the picture. The percentage of total AGI earned by the bottom 50% in 1980 was17.68%; in 2007 is was down to 12.26% This is nearly a 30% decline. In the same periods the
percent of total AGI earned by the top 1% in 1980 was 8.46% and in 2007 was up to 22.83%. This is somewhere near a 275% increase.
The percentage of total AGI of the group earning between the top 25% and the middle (50%) 25% in 1980 was 25.62% and by 2007 that number had declined to19.04% (more than a 20% decline).
There was a recent ranking of the countries by their ratio of CEO to worker wage. Germany was 9th at a ratio of 12:1. Venezuela was 2nd at a ratio of 50:1. The USA was 1st at a ratio of 475:1. This number was up from 262:1 just 6 years ago. Up from 35:1 back in 1978.
“The poor population in America’s suburbs — long a symbol of a stable and prosperous American middle class — rose by more than half after 2000, forcing suburban communities across the country to re-evaluate their identities and how they serve their populations.” Today’s News (NYT 10-25-11).
I have heard people deny this is related to the reallocation of wealth to the top. They point to the rise in single motherhood as a cause. It is the practice of the “real conservative” to make excuses for those who are the benefactors of policy that permits this reallocation of wealth.
The Serfs of the Middle Ages, I suppose could be blamed for their poverty. They, after all, didn’t get an education and allowed the ruling landowners to dictate every aspect of their lives. Perhaps one or two, on occasion escaped to another place and through hard work or avarice, gained some measure of wealth and posed as other than a Serf.


We cannot lay all the blame for today’s news of poverty at the feet of those impoverished. Some, yes. Profligate spending. Lack of commitment to a two parent family. Unrealistic job expectations. But, at the end of that line of thought, we must acknowledge that at no time in this history of this land of opportunity has the accumulation of wealth been clustered at the very top as it is today. This is a problem.

Independent voter

October 25th, 2011
10:28 am

I dont have to pick corps I have a real job and them days are over with you never catch me picking corps and tell that to Nathan Deal.

Dash Riptide

October 25th, 2011
10:32 am

@Independent voter It’s spelled “corpse.”

td

October 25th, 2011
10:32 am

Al

October 25th, 2011
10:16 am

So are you telling us that you support redistributing wealth? How much redistribution do we do now? How many programs do we have where we confiscate money from the wealthy and the corporations to give to the non producers?

I see some problems with the way some of our public corporation heads get paid, like them still receiving huge bonuses when their corporations are failing and the whole idea of preferred stock sales but those could be fixed. I do not see where the government should inter fear in anyway in compensation of private held corporations and I do not believe is compensation caps.

Independent voter

October 25th, 2011
10:35 am

Downtown is nasty and dirty and so many panhandler I wouldnt dare camp out in the park because I dont want to get bitten by a rodent. Before occupy atlanta show up at the park it was for homeless people and they slept in that park long ago before occupy Atlanta so what the big deal, I bet if the teaparty camp out in a buckhead park and see if Kasim Reed move them out of the park.

Al

October 25th, 2011
10:38 am

I do not support government induced wealth redistribution. My point is that that is exactly what we have seen in the last 25 years. The redistribution of wealth is a direct result of government policy and that policy needs to be fixed or undone. It is the conservative way to go back to what worked.
I am and have been a strong fiscal conservative in my life. The new sound bite conservatism repulses me.

SAWB

October 25th, 2011
10:43 am

“Unless their plan is to break the law until the city is forced to take action.”

There is no doubt they want a confrontation with Police. This will give them the publicity they crave and also credibility in the anarchist/socialist/hobo culture that they so want to be a part of. At this point sides have been chosen and nothing that happens from now on is really going to sway anyone, so get it over with give them what they want and put them in The Fulton County Jail.

JP

October 25th, 2011
10:45 am

@Independent voter: You pick “corps”? How about some punctuation in your posts? Wow…sad.

John D

October 25th, 2011
10:46 am

Why would you have a concert for any protest anyway? I think they just used the opportunity to create the event has nothing to do with Occupy Wallstreet.

JP

October 25th, 2011
10:46 am

@Dash Riptide: Independent voter is talking about picking crops…cotton, get it?

Al

October 25th, 2011
10:47 am

Milton Friedman admits he was wrong. Reagan is some ways was wrong though he should be admired as a strong leader. The origins of our current path of destruction is we mistake what happened in the 80s as a blueprint for success.
The principal success of the 80s was that we learned how to manage the foreign policy dilemma of OPEC. Much of Carter’s failure stems from his (and everybody else at the time) inability to understand the new power of OPEC and how it was connected to the rising Islamist movement.
The removal of existing checks on financial markets was obscured by the technology revolution. When, in the 90s, banks and securities firms were allowed to live together, the economic equivalent of domestic violent began to simmer under the surface.
When 2007 rolled around and lid blew off, we finally saw what had happened to our economy. I submit this redistribution as a result of policy was change a conservative shouldn’t want.

DannyX

October 25th, 2011
10:49 am

I think the Occupy should ask Debbie Dooleys’s Tea Party Patriots group to join them in the park.

The Tea Party has a lot to protest right now.

Governor Deal begging Obama for Savannah port pork
Governor Deal accepting strings attached ‘Race to the Top’ federal education dollars
The never ending Ga 400 toll
The I-85 Express lane debacle
The Tom Graves loan
The Republican transportation sales tax
The proposed CAPCO
The non-exisistant Georgia ethics laws

Make room Occupy. The Tea Party has a lot to protest.

Independent voter

October 25th, 2011
10:50 am

Td are you changing your name to attack people comments. I dont care what you guys say about Occupy Atlanta because they fighting for corporation greed and justice, jobs and the list goes on I wondering why Nathan Deal going to China to bring jobs here which we need to make our own products and do busy in our country why China.

Independent voter

October 25th, 2011
10:54 am

Danny X the list goes on with Nathan Deal corruption

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

5th District Conservative

October 25th, 2011
10:58 am

In my opinion, Kasim Reed has been a good mayor. I did not vote for him because i was concerned that he was too close to the public unions to be able to get their benefits under control, but he did that. He also worked closely with the Guv to try to obtain support and funding for deepening the river for the port of Savannah which is good for all Georgians. I think that this Occupy thing is his first mis-step, and this is a difficult situation for him, with Atlanta being the epicenter of the Civil Rights Movement.

DannyX

October 25th, 2011
11:06 am

“Danny X the list goes on with Nathan Deal corruption”

I hear the Governor’s friends and family want to rename the park, they want to change it to “What a Deal Park.”

Dash Riptide

October 25th, 2011
11:14 am

@JP “Independent voter is talking about picking crops…cotton, get it?”

You never give independents enough credit. There’s way more money in fleecing corpses.

mike 'hussein' smith

October 25th, 2011
11:18 am

The mayor is a bully, nothing more. Would he want to go down in history as the first black mayor of Atlanta to have mostly white peaceful protesters savaged by billy clubs or killed? And when he blatantly lies like this: “You’ve had people killed in concerts where artists who were promised do not show up all across the country. THIS HAPPENS ALL THE TIME.” — I can only assume that he has gone off the deep end. His behavior is — shall I say it? — LUDICROUS!

Independent voter

October 25th, 2011
11:22 am

JP seem like he want people of color to pick cotton and crops. Georgia is known for moving back in the days that people of color would not have rights or laws to protect people of colors.
Georgia murder Troy Davis, cops kill Joetavis Stafford and also the old lady who was 92 year old lsdy was murder in her home. What have Georgia become people are fed up with the killing of African American.

OLD Guard

October 25th, 2011
11:24 am

Devil’s Advocate – it has nothing to do with “fee waiving” it has to do with basic fairness. Which, it seems, is a concept that only the left has a right to.

Tom

October 25th, 2011
11:24 am

Latest moonbattery from Santorum….end any government funding for contraceptives. Not just abortion…..ALL BIRTH CONTROL.

Independent voter

October 25th, 2011
11:25 am

Kasim Reed seem like a angry black man and it my opinion Atlanta need a white mayor because these wanabee black mayor have destroy Atlanta image as a lovely place to visit. Next election I will be voting against Kasim Reed.

mike 'hussein' smith

October 25th, 2011
11:30 am

The government already is forbidden by law to provide funding for abortion. Santorum is merely making a last-ditch effort to win over the only large group of votes he has much possibility of winning — Catholics. And most of them reject the Church’s teachings on contraceptives, if not abortion.

GaBlue

October 25th, 2011
11:33 am

I agree with DannyX: Bring on the Pekoe Heads!

While I found some of the slogans and attitudes of the Tea Party rallies in recent years to be abrasive and abusive, (and the frequently-displayed abject IGNORANCE to be utterly disheartening), I applauded them for getting out and rallying to have their voices heard. What’s more American than a good protest? They have just as much right to voice their displeasure as anyone, no matter how foolish they look with flow-through teabags hanging from straw hats! I wonder where they are now, and why they aren’t out there defending the rights of the occupiers.

After all, as DannyX listed, there are many things going on right here in Georgia that are an affront to decent, hardworking taxpayers. Hey, in the realm of outrage, there’s room for everybody!

td

October 25th, 2011
11:36 am

Independent voter

October 25th, 2011
10:50 am
Td are you changing your name to attack people comments.

I do not post under other id’s. Believe it or not there are more than one conservative that post on these boards. I take credit for my post and want everyone to know when they come from me.

findog

October 25th, 2011
11:45 am

Debbie’s problem is she asked as the leader of an organization
the occupy people claim they are independent and as such, without leadership, have no means to acquire a permit

Roekest

October 25th, 2011
11:55 am

@ Independent voter,

I admire your zeal for this issue; however, I do not admire your misuse of the English language. Please go back to school or pick up a set of Hooked on Phonics tapes.

Basil

October 25th, 2011
11:58 am

“Corps?” “Corpse?” If one is picking (e.g., cotton) I believe it’s spelled “CROPS.”

Off de Plantation

October 25th, 2011
12:00 pm

@Roekest, 11.55am; Amen to that. The independent Voter (in his/her case) us ab oxymoron. Not only can this person write or speak correct American English, he or she is stupid to boot.

Independent voter

October 25th, 2011
12:00 pm

Roekest it seem like you more interesting what I post on this blogg. I dont care what these Ga Republican teaparty think of me or Occupy Atlanta because one day the true going to set Ga free from these insane republicans.

Independent voter

October 25th, 2011
12:03 pm

4 more years of president Obama so get ready for the change in 2012 you teaparty.

Off de Plantation

October 25th, 2011
12:05 pm

OOPS, typos. Independent Voter (in that blogger’s case) is an Oxymoron, or, perhaps, in his or her case, just plain “moron.”

Politi Cal

October 25th, 2011
12:05 pm

A tempest in a slop jar.

Obama 2012

October 25th, 2011
12:07 pm

OBAMA 2012 baby!!!

WDE

October 25th, 2011
12:17 pm

I have a question completely off base here..why are their never any place for comments on articles about the new HOT lanes….why AJC why?

joe

October 25th, 2011
12:20 pm

Indep Voter, the tea party supporters (most of them) would never be occupying parks or anything else because they are law abiding citizens who respect the police, first responders and property owners. They also have jobs they work M-F and have homes they tend to when not at work. They are self-supportive.

See the difference?

In case you don’t the occupy crowd (most of them) don’t respect law, police or property owners. They don’t have jobs and they sleep on the streets. They beg for things or demand things from others via redistribution or other means (stealing) instead of being a participant in our capitalist system and they have no desire to ever do so. They have no personal responsibility.

Aquagirl

October 25th, 2011
12:30 pm

why are their never any place for comments on articles about the new HOT lanes….why AJC why?

Atlanta Forward has done it twice.

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-forward/2011/10/17/1018-more-thoughts-on-hot-hov-lanes/

1%er

October 25th, 2011
12:32 pm

Beat them until they leave. Big batons and just start whooping people. Great entertainment for us and hell, they deserve it for being stupid.