Occupy Atlanta Plans Friday March to Homeless Shelter
Marchers may relocate to Midtown as city looks to kick them out of Woodruff Park.
The Occupy Atlanta movement plans to march Friday afternoon to the Peachtree-Pine homeless shelter located on the edge of Midtown.
The march, set to begin at Woodruff Park at 5 p.m., aims to defend the shelter that has for years struggled to stay open.
The Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless, which operates the shelter, this week filed a lawsuit against Emory University and Emory Healthcare for allegedly engaging in a conspiracy to sabotage the shelter, according to Atlanta Progressive News.
"Come show your support and deliver a message to Emory University and other greedy corporate interests that would like to see this property be used to fatten their bellies and wallets, while others starve and die in the cold," says a Facebook post for the Friday march.
In response, Emory issued the following statement: "While we certainly support Occupy Atlanta’s right and desire to peacefully gather and demonstrate, we strongly disagree with their assertion that Emory University and Emory Healthcare discriminate in any way, shape or form against the men and women we serve each and every day.
"Emory University Hospital Midtown has continued to partner closely with our local communities as a solid and responsible neighbor and health care provider, while working hard to also ensure the safety of our patients, visitors, and employees who entrust Emory for their care or as a place of employment."
Read Emory's full statement here.
The Occupy Atlanta group, which has been encamped in Woodruff Park since the evening of Oct. 7, is part of the national Occupy Wall St. movement that aims to battle what is sees as corporate corruption and government failure among several other issues.
On Wednesday, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed issued an executive order requiring the group to vacate Woodruff Park on Monday, Oct. 17.
"I am committed to protecting the public and ensuring that the laws of the city are respected," Reed said in a prepared statement. "I will not allow public safety to be jeopardized in any way by the protesters."
The group currently is looking for spaces to relocate, a protester told Patch on Thursday. Marchers may try to move from Woodruff Park to a vacant lot behind the Georgian Terrace in Midtown, he said.
On Tuesday, the group marched to Bank of America Plaza in Midtown.