In a press conference in front of City Hall today, one after another Occupy New Orleans protester said they have no intention to comply with Mayor Mitch Landrieu's request (soon to be followed by a police enforced order, Landrieu said) that the group leave Duncan Plaza.
"We're going to stand our ground," one protester said.
Still, said another, the several hundred campers — who've been living in the park since early October — will not become violent should a forced eviction occur.
"Whatever happens, we want to keep it peaceful," the man said.
Some occupiers speaking at the press conference criticized the Landrieu administration for failing to work with the group in providing assistance to needy campers. Organizers have provided food and basic medical treatment to the camp's large number of homeless-homeless (rather than #occupy homeless) residents, many of whom reportedly moved there after the city cleared a downtown homeless encampment in late October.
Others questioned the administration's priorities in ordering the evacuation, saying Landrieu is giving greater consideration to tourism and business concerns than to the group's First Amendment rights.
"We understand the Sugar Bowl and the BCS Championship are coming up. We know why Mayor Landrieu wants us gone," a speaker said. "But some things are more fundamental than the economics of the Sugar Bowl and the BCS."
Part 1 of the Occupy New Orleans press conference (videos by Jenny Maldonado):
(Part 2 after the jump)