Occupy Philly appeals plan for scaled-down protest

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - November 23, 2011

The protesters have been in a plaza next to City Hall since early October as a statement about what they call economic injustice, but the city says they have to leave to make way for a long-planned $50 million renovation project. Earlier this week, the city offered a one-month permit for the plaza across the street, but said no one would be allowed to remain overnight and no tents or structures would be allowed.

The protesters said in a letter to the city Wednesday that their demonstration at Thomas Paine Plaza would not adversely impact public health and safety or the natural environment and was "within the customary recreational and other uses" of city property.

The demonstrators have also pointed to vendors who have been allowed to set up structures for a Christmas Village at the nearby John F. Kennedy Plaza, popularly known as LOVE Park.

The mayor has cited what he called "serious health and safety issues" at the current Occupy Philadelphia encampment, saying conditions there are "intolerable," and city officials have said they do not want to see a repeat of the 24-hour occupation at the new site.

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