Atlanta mayor to revoke Occupy Atlanta's park permit


Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed speaks at the opening session of Usher's New Look Foundation World Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Ga., on July 20, 2011.


Chris McKay

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced Monday that he is revoking the executive order allowing Occupy Atlanta protesters to inhabit Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

Over the weekend, the Occupy protestors, who’ve lived in the park for the past two weeks, hosted a two-day hip hop festival without obtaining a permit for the event or hiring security guards to control the crowd, Reed said at a press conference, according to The Associated Press.

Rumors that the rapper Ludacris would perform drew 600 people to the unauthorized concert, the AP reports, forcing the city to send additional police to the park. That cost the city about $100,000 on Saturday alone, Reed said, according to the Atlanta Journal Contitution.

Members of Occupy Atlanta also climbed onto a generator to prevent police from stopping the concert, WXIA TV reports. "If that generator had caught fire or exploded, who would have been responsible? The city of Atlanta," Reed said.

"The executive order permits Occupy Atlanta to remain in the park past 11 p.m.," Reed said, according to WXIA TV. "It does not exempt them from the fire codes or any other laws."

At the media event, Occupy Atlanta protestors interrupted Reed several times to complain he was exaggerating the dangers of the concert, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports, but he shut them down. "This is my press conference," Reed said. "We are in a place where we cannot have a productive dialogue."

Reed said he would give a group of clergy time to organize an orderly departure for the protestors, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. If the demonstrators don’t leave, the city’s fire and police departments are ready to clear the park at a time of his choosing, he said.

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