Friday, October 21, 2011

Occupy Cleveland Will Remain at Public Square, Or Not, But Not Keen on Being Arrested (Updated)

Posted By on Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 11:00 AM

occupy-cleveland.jpeg

Update: Well, nevermind. Occupy Cleveland released a statement today saying they will stay at Public Square and are prepared to be arrested. Should be an eventful weekend. (Cleveland.com)

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Occupy Cleveland is facing a decision. Their permits run expire Friday and Saturday for the camp at Public Square, and while the city says that protesters can continue demonstrating there, permits issued for installation of Christmas lights and decorations mean no more sleepovers or tents.

Erin McCardle, a "group facilitator," told the PD: "Whether we will remain will have to be determined. The consensus of the group is that we will be occupying regardless of our permit situation."

Occupiers in other cities have been arrested for a variety of reasons, including camping and demonstrating without permits. Cleveland has been cooperative for the most part, but the new wrinkle could test both sides. According to the PD's report, Occupy Cleveland organizers met with Cleveland police and the Downtown Alliance yesterday. One question was whether Occupiers would be arrested. Cleveland Occupiers, it seems, are not totally down with the idea of handcuffs.

"I have no interest in going to the county [jail]," [McCardle] told 3rd District Commander Patrick Stephens.

Stephens said police prefer not to arrest demonstrators but must uphold the law.

"We'd rather arrest bad people," he said.

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