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Occupy Iowa City Starts Today

Iowa City Owl Iowa City News - Local Stories
People will be gathering starting at 6pm this evening in College Green Park for an event they're calling Occupy Iowa City.

An offshoot of Occupy Wall Street has been making itself known for the past few days, passing out fliers in downtown Iowa City to promote the upcoming "occupation" of college green park on the corner of Dodge and Washington, two blocks from downtown.

The Facebook Event boasts 218 attendees, paling in comparison to the many thousands participating in New York, though their location may attract attention.

College Green Park is right next to a major thoroughfare for people coming into Iowa City.

Earlier in the day, there were concerns that Occupy Iowa City violated a city ordinance prohibiting public gatherings in public spaces without a permit, but later the Press-Citizen reported that the Iowa City Attorney's Office declared that today's protest would not require a permit.

The press release cites an exception for spontaneous events, "provided that the organizer thereof gives written notice to the city manager or designee at least one hour prior to such parade or public assembly."

Some students expressed concern over other protest's clashes with authorities.

"I might check it out before I go out of town," said Duncan Ross, a University of Iowa senior. "I don't know if I want to get maced though."

The Facebook event encourages protestors to not be provocative.

"Please, please, please remember: this occupation will be peaceful and nonviolent. Provocateurs are not welcome."

Last week, reports surfaced of police in other cities using excessive force to face protesters.

MSNBC said last week, "the troublemakers were carrying pepper spray, guns, and wearing badges," referring to the alleged police brutality during Occupy Wall Street.

However, Iowa City is traditionally known as a more liberal community.

Occupy Iowa City posted on their Facebook page that police were being cooperative and helpful.

"More very positive interaction with the city: We just received a call from the police, because they want to assure us that while there will be officers at College Green tonight, they are ONLY there to keep drunk guys from harassing or harming us.
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Iowa City Owl

Iowa City News - Local Stories