Updated Press Release

Wren on October 25th, 2011


Occupy Baltimore has been peacefully gathering in McKeldin Square on
the corner of Pratt & Light Streets since October 4th, 2011. Today
marks the start of the fourth week of the encampment. Early last week,
after pressure from the Baltimore City police department and the
department of parks and recreation, Occupy Baltimore filed an
application for a permit to continue the encampment indefinitely.

On Monday, Occupy Baltimore received word that the Department of Parks
& Recreation Department has not approved their permit application, and
instead suggested a compromise that would allow Occupy Baltimore to
continue to occupy McKeldin Square indefinitely without a permit
during the daytime hours, but limit overnight presence to a maximum of
2 people, and restrict the encampment as a whole to a smaller corner
of the Square. The city has asked for an answer to the proposed deal
by Wednesday Oct 26th and stated that if Occupy Baltimore agrees, they
will not be removed from the park for failing to obtain a permit.
Should Occupy Baltimore refuse to comply with the requests to limit
the overnight presence, then the city “has the right to terminate
these special accommodations,” though no specific date for termination
has been announced. In preparation for any possible intervention by
the city, Occupy Baltimore participants are issuing a general call for
all allies to join the encampment starting tonight to support and
protect the group sustaining the occupation at McKeldin Square.

Over the course of the past three weeks, Occupy Baltimore has begun a
directly democratic dialogue, and considering their peaceful and
respectful assembly, the group requests that the city allow them to
maintain this peaceful democratic space, as city government
counterparts have in Philadelphia and Washington DC. Representatives
of Occupy Baltimore, assisted by the Maryland chapter of the ACLU, are
currently in discussion with the Department of Parks and Recreation
about possible negotiations on the proposed deadline and the overnight
stay limitations. These limitations present a clear concern for the
Occupation, which has a complex and pre-existing infrastructure,
including dedicated teams for media, food, direct action, outreach,
security, and other working groups that require consultation and
consideration, as well as physical space onsite.

Occupy Baltimore is committed to maintaining a vibrant, safe space in
McKeldin Square as the movement continues to grow an organic
infrastructure of democratic representation, arts, culture, and
Political debate while still allowing the public to pass through
McKeldin Square, and inviting them to join in the occupation and
associated activities.

Occupy Baltimore recognizes that their requests are outside of the box
for the city’s existing permit system, but encourages the city to work
alongside peaceful and respectful demonstrators to create a legal
space where all voices can be heard.

The Occupation remains hopeful that the City of Baltimore will
continue to work with the movement in the coming days and weeks to
ensure the continued existence of this peaceful gathering.
Participants state, however, that they are closely monitoring police
presence in the area as the city’s deadline approaches. They encourage
supporters to maximize presence in the Square starting today, and
continuing throughout the week, should the authorities decide to clear
the area on or after the Wednesday, October 26 deadline.


For more information, or to schedule a time to visit the occupation
movement in Baltimore, please email occupybaltimoreme@gmail.com or
visit www.occupybmore.org

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