Reporting Ron Dewey
DETROIT (WWJ) – Occupy Detroit has been given a reprieve. The group’s permit to camp in Grand Circus Park expires at 10 p.m. Monday, but City Council has gotten the police department to agree to leave them alone until they vote on a two-week extension on Tuesday.
The Occupy Detroit protesters say, while they might be leaving Grand Circus Park, they have no plans to abandon the city anytime soon. The eventual plan is to move to a more secure location for the winter.
“The dilemma is the fully intend to vaccate the park,” attorney Judy Horwitz, who represents Occupy Detroit.
“They have found an alternative location to move — a private indoor facility where they can better cope with the conditions and climate and so-forth. They simply need time to do so,” she said.
The group would still use the park as a site for protests.
Whatever happens, campers with a cause, including a man who identified himself as Bob, said it won’t change what they’re doing, working to make others aware of the flaws in the economic and political systems and the need for change.
“I honestly live with a hell of a lot of nice people. I’d go to combat with these guys,” he said. “I’m ex-military myself. A lot of these people I’d go into war with. That’s how much of a family we’ve become.”
Keith Johnson, who has been part of the encampment for three weeks, said they should be allowed to stay at the park. However, he said it really doesn’t matter where they are.
“They’re gonna keep pressing on, just like the people in San Fransisco, Philadelphia, California … it’s something that we have a right to speak,” said Johnson. “As long as the speaking is nonviolent and it’s not inciting a riot, we have that right.”
Between 150 and 200 people have been at the park since mid-October.