Time Running Out For Occupy Pittsburgh Protestors At Mellon Green Park
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The clock is ticking for Occupy Pittsburgh protestors as a court ruling has ordered them to leave the property by Monday morning.
Many were packing up their tents and heading out Sunday night.
The protestors have been staying in Mellon Park for months, but now the courts say it’s time to leave.
At 11:56 a.m. Monday, the Occupy Pittsburgh movement is supposed to officially leave the space in Downtown Pittsburgh.
However, the remaining protestors will hold a rally at that time. Some have even said they will engage in civil disobedience.
Some of the cleanup, or clear out process, started early Sunday. Protestors say the movement is about more than just space.
Since mid-October, Occupy Pittsburgh has been occupying Mellon Green Park. Before that, it was known as the GreenSpace next to the BNY Mellon building.
The corporation hopes to reclaim the space beginning Monday. But the members of movement say what started in the park back then won’t end just because a court says they have to go.
“I think we changed the dialogue,” Quinn Elliott, of Occupy Pittsburgh, said. “I think we made people at least question the things around them, the institutions that they’re invested in and trust.”
“I think the Occupy movement is undergoing a metamorphosis,” said Jeff Cech, of Occupy Pittsburgh. “It’s really changing into something that’s less about a space downtown and more about the issues.”
The early part of Sunday was spent packing up common spaces like the mess hall and community hall; but by nightfall, much of the focus shifted to rebuilding.
The pallets that had once been used to hold tents that made up the Occupy village were being assembled into some sort of structure.
“We’re building an arc. We’re preparing for the great flood,” said Occupy protestor Ryan Kelley.
Kelley says he, like many others, has a mix of emotions about what the time with Occupy Pittsburgh has meant. But moving out, he says, doesn’t mean the story is over.
“This is a big city, a big planet. Many other places and things to occupy,” said Kelley.
“We’re committed to this work for the long haul,” added Helen Gearhardt, of Occupy Pittsburgh. “So, if we changed the national conversation, I’m committed to this for decades if that’s what it takes.”