Twenty Occupy Atlanta protesters were arrested Saturday after a rally in a city park spilled into the streets. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that nearly 150 protesters had gathered at Woodruff Park Saturday, with many setting up tents and saying they intended to stay overnight despite a police warning that anyone who remained after the park's closing time would be arrested.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed initially issued an executive order allowing protesters to stay overnight, but later revoked it. Video shows police officers in riot gear and on horseback filling Peachtree Street as demonstrators spilled out from the park. The protesters shouted at the officers "Shame! Shame!" and "What about your pensions?" AP writes that a small group yelled, "Put the pigs back in their sty, we the people occupy."
Police arrested protester Brandon Wojcik-Tremblay for felony aggravated assault against a police officer, for knocking a cop off of his motorcycle. However, Occupy Atlanta claims that peace was maintained until an officer on a motorcycle accelerated into a demonstrator. The movement posted this video on their website:
By the end of the night, 19 protesters were arrested on charges that they blocked city roads and refused to leave the park after the 11:00pm curfew, in addition to Wojcik-Tremblay, who was the first Occupy Atlanta protester to be charged with a felony.
AP reports that Occupy Atlanta organizers said Sunday that they plan to once again try to camp at Woodruff Park, setting up another showdown with police.The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the mayor’s office said Thursday that the first occupation of the park cost city taxpayers more than $451,000. On October 25, more than 50 Atlanta protesters were arrested for staying in the park after closing.