Deadline Passes, Occupy Pittsburgh Stays Put
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – In addition to battling frigid temperatures, Occupy Pittsburgh protesters are fending off a fight to evict them from their downtown location.
The stage is set for a court battle as Occupy Pittsburgh continues to defy an order to abandon its campsite on BNY Mellon property in downtown Pittsburgh.
“We’re going to winterize this camp because we are here to stay, evict Mellon,” Mel Packer said.
Occupy Pittsburgh members are more determined than ever to hold their ground.
After ignoring BNY Mellon’s order to leave Mellon Green at noon yesterday, they went a step farther and renamed the park.
“On Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011, the general assembly of Occupy Pittsburgh renamed the site of their encampment to the People’s Park,” Jeff Cech said.
BNY Mellon first allowed Occupy Pittsburgh to set up camp back in October, but with the return of colder weather, the corporation is raising concerns about hypothermia and the dangers caused by propane heaters and gas generators in tents.
Cech said cold weather is not an issue.
“We’re insulating the tents, we’re making sure people are prepared, we’re reorganizing the tents so that snow removal on the sidewalk won’t interfere with that,” Cech said.
Occupy Pittsburgh is now getting support from local union leaders.
“SEIU supports the occupy movement. We’ll be here today, we’ll be here tomorrow, we’ll be here every day until the 99 percent get the fairness and justice they deserve,” Neil Bisno from SEIU said.
BNY Mellon has already stated it will seek injunctive relief claiming unlawful trespass. It remains to be seen what will happen if a judge orders the camp to disband.
The camp winterization continues as Occupy Pittsburgh prepares to be here for the long haul.
How long that is going to be depends on what happens after BNY Mellon attorneys take their trespassing case to court.