PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Occupy Pittsburgh protesters have been busy preparing for winter, but if BNY Mellon has its way, they won’t have to worry about the plunging temperatures for long.
Attorneys for The Bank of New York Mellon filed a 21-page injunction in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court this morning demanding that the Occupy movement pack up and leave Mellon Green Park, where they’ve been staying since October 15th.
The complaint asks that those who refuse to leave the encampment within 20 days be cited for trespassing.
Meanwhile, after ignoring BNY Mellon’s order to leave the park by noon yesterday, protesters went a step farther and renamed the site of their encampment “The People’s Park” — saying the bank must leave.
Around 8:30 a.m. today, about 40 protesters left the camp — marching to the bank’s Grant Street entrance where they taped an eviction notice to the door. “We the people of Pittsburgh have so far tolerated the presence of this organization on this property,” protester John Lacny read of the notice, “and as for the Occupy Pittsburgh encampment, we have enjoyed a friendly relationship with most of BNY Mellon staff.”
Jeff Cech of Occupy Pittsburgh told KDKA this weekend that they’ve been preparing to continue their protest for the long haul; but it’s unclear what will happen if a judge orders the camp to disband. “I personally think some people will leave when they’re told it’s time to go — when it comes down to the wire — to avoid arrest; other people will probably act in civil disobedience.”
But Protester Don Carpenter said he’s committed to the cause. “We’re going to stay by any means necessary,” Carpenter added. “Basically, we’re going to mobilize some people. If they come to evict us, they’ll have to drag us out.”
The judge has not yet scheduled a hearing on BNY Mellon’s petition to send the protesters packing; but legally, since the bank owns the property, it could ask for an immediate eviction.