Occupy OKC Protestors Defy City Orders, Willing To Be Arrested

Tuesday, November 29th 2011, 11:59 pm
By: News 9

Occupy OKC Protestors are defying city orders to vacate a downtown park. The city wants the protestors' camp gone later in the week, but protestors said they will not leave and are willing to be arrested.

The city said the protestors have been spending the night at the downtown park illegally since Sunday, but still, the city has not enforced its own curfew laws. Police said it's all about to change.

11/29/2011 Related Story: Occupy OKC Protesters Head To Court To Fight City's New Deadline

"I intend to get a citation," said Occupy OKC leader Beth Isbell. "There are other people that I believe are prepared to be arrested."

Protestors have called Kerr park home for nearly two months. Now, they are hunkering down against city orders.

"We have given them until 11 p.m. Thursday [to leave]," said M.T. Berry, Oklahoma City assistant city manager.

Oklahoma City will no longer issue protestors permits to allow overnight camping. The city said it told protestors to leave by 11 p.m. Monday, but protestors said it will take more than rhetoric for the park to be cleared.

"We did not give them a firm deadline, and we still haven't given them a firm deadline," admitted Berry. "We do expect them to comply with moving out of the park."

The protestors said they know their rights, and they are not letting anyone say they can't protest even though the park closes.

"Some other people may engage in acts of civil disobedience," Isbell said.

Police said they hope to avoid acts of violence in removing the protestors.

"A lot of people would expect that we would go in there with riot squads and take them out and we're trying to avoid that," said Berry. "We're trying to make this as peaceful as they will allow it."

The city said it is unsure what course of action will be taken against protestors, if they do not leave by the Thursday deadline, but police said arrests are not out of the question.

Protestors said they are upset with the city for denying requests to provide running water and extra trash pickup for protestors at Kerr Park.

Attorneys for the protestors said they will fight the city's decision in court.