Our Charles Maldonado is at Duncan Plaza, where the #Occupy protestors are deciding what they'll do if/when Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration evicts them from the park across from City Hall. At a press conference this afternoon, Landrieu and NOPD Chief Ronal Serpas asked the #Occupy people to move on, and said the city would soon begin enforcing the existing no-camping laws.
In the last hour, NOPD officers have walked through the park, distributing
a flyer "courtesy notice" reiterating the city's position and adding "In the coming days, we will move forward in a fashion that respects your 1st Amendment rights within the bounds of the law that protect the common good."
Evictions, of course, have resulted in ugly scenes in other cities, including New York, Oakland, Calif. and Portland, Ore. So far the #Occupy New Orleans movement has been marked with civility by protestors, the NOPD and the Landrieu administration — and has been one of the most peaceful in the country. In Los Angeles, media were prevented from freely covering the eviction, and we trust that won't happen here.
If evictions begin tonight, we'll have full coverage from Duncan Plaza.