City Council has told Occupy Charlottesville that they’ve got to move out of Lee Park tomorrow, Henry Graff reports for NBC-29, but it’s not at all clear that they’re leaving. City Council is no longer willing to extend the special use permit that’s allowed the protesters to camp out in Lee Park for the past six weeks, and they’re increasingly sympathetic with neighbors who would like to regain normalcy in the park. The city has suggested a series of potential alternate sites, with McIntire Park at the top of the list. Occupy Charlottesville’s reaction is mixed. It’s by no means a monolithic group, as can be seen in the minutes from yesterday’s general assembly of members. While some or even most members might move to a new location, there are some members of the Charlottesville group who won’t leave unless it’s in handcuffs, a confrontation that the city is clearly eager to avoid.
Occupy Charlottesville has asked City Council’s permission to protest 24/7 in Lee Park, Ted Strong reports for the Daily Progress. Occupy X groups have been popping up across the country in the past couple of weeks, beginning with Occupy Wall Street, with left-leaning protesters staging live-ins in public opposition to economic inequality and corporate power over government, especially since the September 2008 economic collapse. Lee Park has a 11 PM curfew, which prevents the protesters from remaining there around the clock, as is the norm for the Occupy protests. Occupy Charlottesville has been protesting in Lee Park since Saturday, but has asked permission to carry on non-stop, for a month. Given that Council doesn’t permit homeless people to remain there overnight, Councilor Holly Edwards said that she felt uncomfortable with the idea of allowing protesters, while Councilor David Brown expressed concern about the precedent that permission could set.
10/18 Update: Council agreed to give the group a permit to remain in the park through Friday night. It’s up to parks director Brian Daly to decide if they can stay longer.