Updated 12/22/2011 12:15 PM
Permit expires for Occupy Albany protesters
After protesting for more than two months, the deadline has now come and gone for Occupy Albany protesters to vacate Academy Park. Our Solomon Syed has the details.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Thursday morning, 7 a.m. came and went. And yet the Occupy Albany encampment remains, despite the city-imposed deadline to vacate Academy Park.
"I'm not moving," said protester Anthony Hadden.
"I don't see anybody packing up camp," said protester Bradley Scott.
Protesters were defiant, claiming the city's public safety concerns, based primarily on the anticipation of colder winter weather, melted away in the mild December sun.
"It couldn't be more belied by the fact that I can barely look in this direction because it's so sunny and warm out here today," Scott said.
Still, the 7 a.m. deadline - enforced or not - appeared to take some steam out of the movement. Squirrels outnumbered protesters Thursday morning - and police, for that matter. No tents were swept away by law enforcement. Occupiers said they've done more than enough to stay on a permanent basis.
Hadden said, "We've been going along with the city from everything that they've been saying, their requirements."
Occupiers trimmed the number of tents from near 60 to about 20, just one of several concessions to stay in the park. And they intend to stay through the winter after submitting a proposal to the city for winterized tents. Their blueprint for keeping the heat on Albany's elected officials.
Scott said, "This camp represents a significant third base of power here in Albany. There's the Capitol, there's City Hall. We work for the people."
And plenty of people are expected at the park at about 5:30 p.m. for a protest and potluck dinner for more than 150 protesters. Then the question becomes, what will police do when the park closes and the city's curfew kicks in?