Broward News

Occupy Palm Beach Expecting Showdown With Police After Park Closure (Updated, Photos)

Update: Protesters have now gotten word that they're allowed to stay in the park until 11 tonight; the mayor has reportedly extended an invitation to discuss a permit to stay in the parks at a later date.​

Original post, 10/22:
An organizer and Facebook admin for the Occupy Palm Beach group, meeting all day today on the green at Flagler and Clematis in West Palm, has contacted the Pulp with word that Occupiers are expecting a confrontation with police when the park officially closes at sundown tonight.

The root of the expected conflict is a number of people, which the organizer (who prefers to remain anonymous to protect his job) estimates to be around 15. They showed up as today's general assembly began to dissolve, claiming solidarity with the Occupy movement, and pitched their tents on the green.

Police arrived soon after.

The police officers reportedly told the Occupiers that they'd make an exception for the tents in the park but that there's a standing curfew and the city parks close between dusk and dawn. 

"You either have to disperse at dusk or you will be arrested," the source recalls the officers saying.

So will the group budge when the time comes? "My sense is that this core group that set up the tents will be arrested," he continues. "They feel aligned with the Occupy movement. I don't detect any bad feeling about that; I don't think the main group of Occupy feels they're being usurped or anything."

This morning's general assembly began on the green around 10 a.m.; facilitators reportedly had a tough time maintaining order, and people started splintering off or speaking out of turn. While the outcome of the camp-in is yet to be seen, perhaps it will provide a rallying point for the protesters to once again find common ground.

More updates as we have them. Check the Occupy Palm Beach Facebook page. If you're at Occupy Palm Beach, you can provide links to photos or videos in the comments below.

Stefan Kamph is a New Times staff writer.
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Stefan Kamph
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