Monday marked Day 10 for the Occupy Atlanta protesters -- primarily young adults and students, the unemployed and homeless people. Keith Dillard is homeless and has been with the group serving the donated food to the activists.
Occupy Atlanta protesters dug in their heels Monday, on the day Mayor Kasim Reed initially told the group of about 100 to vacate downtown Woodruff Park.
On Monday afternoon, a group of protesters claiming to be with Occupy Atlanta listed three demands "in an effort to bring local concerns to the national movement" in a statement. Those demands were: the immediate and unconditional rescinding of the recent MARTA fare hikes; the immediate and unconditional end to the Atlanta Police Department’s stop and frisk policies, including road blocks; and the immediate and unconditional repeal of House Bill 87, the Arizona copy cat law passed by the Georgia legislature.
The mayor's office said that Reed never meant the 5 p.m. deadline to be cast in stone and that he may or may not extend an executive order allowing the protesters to remain in the park.
"I won't follow his deadline, said Diallo Burke, 20, of College Park on Monday morning. "If Martin Luther King, the civil rights movement, had listened to the people in power, things would never have changed," said Burke, who said he had to drop out of college because of lack of money.
Monday marked Day 10 for the Occupy Atlanta protesters -- primarily young adults and students, the unemployed and homeless people. It's an outgrowth of a national movement led by the Occupy Wall Street protests targeting what activists call greed on Wall Street and the lack of job creation on Main Street.
On Saturday around 200 people attended the Occupy Atlanta protest at the state Capitol in Atlanta.
On Monday, Keith Dillard,who works on the detail to provide meals to fellow protesters, said he also planned to ignore any deadlines to leave the park. "I've been here since day one, and I'm gonna be here," said Dillard, who says he is homeless.
Jaye Davis said he has camped out in the park for three days, but Monday would probably be his last day. "I have to go to dialysis in Marietta. I've been walking around asking people to help me get bus fare to get to dialysis, but no one will help me," he said. Davis said he felt betrayed by fellow campers who refuse to help when he thought the whole point of Occupy Atlanta was to come together to help each other. "They say they don't have it, but I don't believe them."
Joan Allen, 49, of College Park, said she would leave the park when the mayor sets a firm deadline.
"I was raised right, to respect the law," said Allen, who says she receives a monthly disability check of $649, that is barely enough to live on. "I didn't come here to make myself look bad or make Mayor Reed look bad," she said. "But they need to understand that it could be them that's homeless and losing their job. It's really hard, and it's getting harder."