Occupy Miami protesters are reporting that county officials are requesting that they move from the area they have been occupying since Oct. 15 by 5 p.m. tonight.
According to a statement released by one of the protesters with Occupy Miami:
Dade County is threatening to kick out Occupy Miami protesters today, Nov. 10, by use of force from the lawn they have been occupying at Government Center since Oct. 15. The reason given is so that the space can be utilized by a crane in order to install a satellite/communications device on top of the building. When asked, they have refused to provide further details on this projects or its use. They are proposing that the Occupy Miami protesters be moved over to an adjacent lawn on the same block of Government Center for the supposed three day installation period. While Occupy Miami protesters have a permit to be there, they are being told that the installation of the satellite/communications device is a “life safety issue” which supersedes their permit. Additionally, even after the supposed construction’s completion, the protester’s permit would not be restored. Instead, they would be required to reapply for a permit to camp at Government Center each week.
Muhammad Malik, who has been protesting with the group since the beginning, says there are already “a lot of cops” in the area, but protesters are “trying to figure out the situation so that it doesn’t escalate.”
Michael Ray, a legal observer who works for the National Lawyers Guild, tells The Florida Independent that a letter was sent to the county saying the protesters find the request to temporarily move to the north side of Government Center reasonable. However, they are requesting that the county not require them to reapply for a permit to return. The north side of the center, Ray explains, is not a free speech zone like the current area they are occupying.
The group was granted an indefinite permit about a month ago. Protesters have weathered multiple storms since the occupation began.
“They feel it doesn’t make much sense to have them reapply for the permit,” Ray says.
Protesters and lawyers volunteering their help to them are currently awaiting a response from the county.