Occupy Atlanta's march to Buckhead fizzled Thursday after some participants apparently lost their way on MARTA.
The activists, whose numbers have steadily increased in the two weeks since setting up camp in Woodruff Park downtown, say they have planned “daily actions” through next Thursday.
Their destination today: Phipps Plaza in Buckhead.
“Anyone interested can meet us at the Lenox MARTA station at 1:15 [p.m.],” said Rob Call, a spokesman for Occupy Atlanta before noon Thursday.
But the group’s Phipps quest appeared to have gotten no farther than the J.W. Marriott Atlanta Buckhead hotel at 3300 Lenox Road.
First, part of the contingent failed to show; they were coming on MARTA but presumably lost their way, Occupy Atlanta participants told Channel 2 Action News’ Richard Elliot.
Then, about a dozen protesters put tape across their mouths and tried to enter the hotel, intending to walk through the attached Lenox Square shopping mall to Phipps. But security guards stopped them and told them the demonstrators would not be allowed in the hotel, as it was private property.
One organizer told Elliot that the protesters had not realized the mall was private property.
Former Atlanta Mayor Sam Massell, now president of the Buckhead Coalition, had welcoming words for the visitors: "They have the right to conduct an orderly visit to Buckhead, and I hope they bring their credit cards.”
The Buckhead trip doesn’t mean the group is abandoning Woodruff Park, where Mayor Kasim Reed has said they can remain for at least the next 2 1/2 weeks.
Roughly 75 tents now dot the downtown headquarters of Occupy Atlanta, which took over the park on Oct. 7.
“It’s more relaxed now” without the threat of imminent eviction, Call said.
Protest organizers said they want to take advantage of the mayor’s reprieve by taking their message throughout the metro Atlanta area.
“We want to make our presence felt,” Call said.
On Friday, hip hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa will perform a free concert at Woodruff Park, said Call. Permits have been obtained from the city, he said.
-- Staff writer Jeremiah McWilliams contributed to this article.
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