Judge Orders Occupy to Go
Occupy Pittsburgh has three days to leave Mellon Green adjacent to BNY Mellon's Pittsburgh headquarters. Allegheny County Judge Christine Ward ruled today that no law "permits a group of people to take over someone else's private property."
Laney, a female protester from the West End who declined to give her full name, said she's saddened by the decision. "I've been here since 'day one' and I consider this my home, and I've come to know and love all the people here," said Laney. "So it's really sad to see that we're getting kicked out. I thought maybe there was a possibility we'd get to stay."
Laney said she is not sure if she will leave yet but is determined to be present to support those who won't.
"Occu Sis" is from Mount Washington. She choose to go by a nickname out of fear her employers would find out she is associated with the Occupy Movement. She said that even though they are being evicted, Occupy Pittsburgh isn't going away. "I think we'll re-group along. Also get together with the national organization. I think it's just going to coalesce into one powerful political movement," she said.
About 100 protesters have camped on Mellon Green, owned by Bank of New York Mellon Corp., since October 15th. The bank sued in December saying it owned the land and annually closes the park each winter.
Occupy Attorneys argued the land amounted to a public forum because people are welcome to walk through, but Judge Ward disagreed saying it is private property regardless of when it is open to the public.