Occupy Palm Beach Moves Into "Permanent" Location, With City's Blessing (Plus OFL Video)

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

The Occupy Palm Beach movement, currently consisting of around a dozen people camping out full-time, has moved into what it's calling a "permanent" occupation site at Banyan Boulevard and Flagler Drive in West Palm, just across from the Palm Harbor Marina.

View Larger Map

The spot is a triangular plot of land that's currently vacant, with space enough to hold hundreds of people if it should come to that. "It was offered to us by the city; apparently they have a strong commitment to First Amendment rights," says one organizer.

Early this week, city spokesman Chase Scott says, "We met with the people from Occupy Palm Beach and told them we wanted to protect their rights to have their voices heard."

Across the country, cities' opposition to their local Occupy movements has been growing. On Tuesday, police in Oakland, California, raided the local camp, evicting 400 people and firing tear gas into the crowd. After a heavy public backlash, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan backpedaled and said that peaceful protesters would be allowed to stay.

The feeling is different in West Palm Beach, at least for now. "I think most of us appreciate the sentiment that's being expressed," says Scott of his City Hall colleagues.

The plot of land occupied by the protesters is city-owned, and its location across the street from the yacht club puts occupiers close to the privileged wealth they often protest. Perhaps more important, they'll be visible in the high-traffic, central area.

Just down Clematis Street on Saturday, the city will hold its annual Moonfest Halloween party. An organizer says the group has reserved a table at the event for recruiting and spreading information.

"I wouldn't say it's permanent," says Scott of the new camp, but there's no end date on the legal occupation. Now that occupiers won't risk arrest for trespassing, they hope to recruit more people into their ranks.


Meanwhile, the Occupy Fort Lauderdale movement continues to be without a place to camp after evictions from Bubier Park and Equality Park, but the group is planning a large march on Saturday from Bubier Park to the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, where conspicuous wealth is sure to be on display. Here's some video from a previous rally in Fort Lauderdale:

Stefan Kamph is a New Times staff writer.
The Pulp: Facebook | @thePulpBPB
Stefan Kamph: Story archiveFacebook | @stefankamph

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.