Occupy Louisville demonstrators say a permit has been acquired for Jefferson Square Park at 6th and Jefferson streets downtown. They say they can now stay overnight across the street from City Hall until the end of the year.
Occupy Louisville began as an unorganized, leaderless demonstration against corporate greed and to give voices to under-represented people. It mimics the Occupy Wall Street movement happening in New York City. Occupy Louisville has since begun to organize.
“Now that we have a permit and we can actually set up a base camp, a lot of the work from the various people involved, and newcomers included, can be done on site,” said Greg Huda who works and lives in Southern Indiana but has been spending nights at the Belvedere.
Huda said moving the Occupy Louisville movement from the Belvedere to Jefferson Square Park permanently will allow for more focus.
“So you’ll see more structure, more organization at the site, because it was somewhat wasted when you had to move,” he said.
Only two tents were set up in Jefferson Square Park on Friday morning. The tents held around eight demonstrators overnight, said demonstrator Karla Alfonso.
Alfonso said she’s been involved since day one. She described what the park may eventually look like when people learn of the new location.
“This is the first day. On the Belvedere it just looks like we’re a little city,” said Alfonso.
Demonstrators were previously forced to the Belvedere at night due to problems with permits. Now, they’ll have the opportunity to remain at Jefferson Square Park until the end of the year and this may increase participation, said Alfonso.
“I feel like we have a bigger sense of community because this is our home now like he said. It’s really ruff moving every night and gathering up and people didn’t want to stay. Now I feel like a lot more will want to stay because it’ll be easier,” she said.
Occupy Louisville continues to hold meetings to discuss what further actions they want to take.
WFPL has requested a copy of the permit through an open records request. A copy of the permit request can be found here. WFPL will post a copy of Metro Government’s response when it’s available.