Local
5:30 pm
Mon October 17, 2011

Occupy Pittsburgh Movement Enters Third Day; More Protests Planned

The Occupy Pittsburgh movement entered its third day Monday, even after a chilly and rainy Sunday night threatened to put a damper on activities. Occupiers battled the rain by setting up a series of cardboard sidewalks between tents to help keep the mud at bay.

The Occupy movement has spread from its start as Occupy Wall Street to dozens of U.S. cities.

In Pittsburgh, the movement started Saturday with a march and has continued with activists camping out on the Mellon Green near BNY Mellon Headquarters. The tent camp continues to grow and become more organized. From just a few scattered tents on the first night, there are now dozens, including a food area, medic, and supply tents.

The problems that have plagued other occupy movements, such as authorities clearing out camps in cities like Denver, aren't expected to be an issue here.

"It seems that we're in a safe space right now. Police have said they're not going to make any arrests or close down the camp because this is the property of the Bank of New York Mellon, and BNY Mellon has said they're letting us stay here," said David Meieran, a long-time activist.

Occupiers say they plan to stay indefinitely. Police say they will be able to, as long as the movement remains peaceful and the grounds are kept up.

While most campers expressed gratitude toward BNY Mellon for the space, on Wednesday Occupy Pittsburgh is planning to picket. The event's Facebook posting asks the question, "Are Pennsylvania workers and taxpayers also on the hook for BNY Mellon's schemes? Join Occupy Pittsburgh in demanding that BNY Mellon pay back the money!"

More marches are also planned, and every day protesters stand on street corners carrying signs with various slogans including "Tax the rich, too," and "Pro-America — Pro-capitalism — Anti-corruption."