Members of Occupy Jackson will soon find out if they have permission to occupy Smith Park 24/7.

" /> Occupy Jackson Awaiting Approval for 24 Hour Protests | News | Mississippi Public Broadcasting
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Occupy Jackson Awaiting Approval for 24 Hour Protests

By Daniel Cherry | Published 21 Nov 2011 07:19pm | comments

The City of Jackson will soon decide whether to grant the Occupy Jackson protest 24 hour access to a public park. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how protesters are hopeful they can camp in Smith Park for another month.

Wall Street protests against perceived corporate greed have met fierce opposition in the past week across the nation but in Mississippi the occupation has remained peaceful and uneventful...except for a heated debate during yesterday's Jackson City Council meeting.

The final decision on when and where protests can happen is expected to come this afternoon. Councilman Chokwe Lumumba says it's not the city's place to censor protests.

"If it's not dangerous to the health and if it's not dangerous to the community then it should be approved. Everyone has the right to object to and protest what they want to, as long as it's not dangerous to one of those things."

City officials are concerned if Occupy Jackson is allowed to camp, every protest group following them seeking a permit to occupy a park would have to be granted permission or the city could be sued for discrimination. Councilman Quentin Whitwell wants the occupiers gone for ideological reasons and concerns about protecting them.

All it's going to take is one incident, and us, as city fathers, are going to be asked, 'Why in the world to you give those people the opportunity to create this kind of problem?'"

The Occupy Jackson protest is the largest movement of its kind in Mississippi. Chelsea McDonald is an occupier and she says they need 24 hour status to protest 24 hour problems.

"It doesn't just exist from dawn to dusk. When we go to sleep at night, we're going to be dreaming about it. It keeps people up at night. These are the things that when you're laying down in bed before you go to sleep and you're like, 'Oh man. I've got to pay this, I've got to pay this, and I've got to pay my rent.' You think about that before you go to sleep at night."

Protesters want permission to occupy Smith Park until December 26th.

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