The deadline has come and gone for Occupy Columbus protesters to vacate their spot in front of the Ohio Statehouse.
A city ordinance called for protestors to vacate their spot by midnight Sunday. The protestors were nowhere to be seen Monday morning, only a few signs remained.
The ordinance required citizens wishing to occupy any street, sidewalk, alley or public right-of-way to obtain a permit for $100 and pay a deposit of at least $500.
It was been nearly a year since Occupy Columbus took to the streets to protest greed on Wall Street and demand change from lawmakers.
“They may try to kick us off the sidewalks, but they can’t keep us quiet,” said Michael Zarzano, of the Occupy Columbus Movement.
Occupy Columbus participants protested the measure with a peaceful concert and demonstration, with no luck.
“They have increased the permitting and fees 3,300-percent, this is outrageous in America,” Zarzano said.
The ordinance fired up the protestors, who said that a civil lawsuit against the city is now in the works.
“(The ordinance) prevents any group or individual from occupying space, which means if you are standing still, it would be illegal and punishable by jail term,” Robert Crane, of Occupy Columbus, said.
City officials said that the code changes and permit requirements do not inhibit Occupy Columbus participants from gathering, assembling or protesting in the right-of-ways.
Occupy Columbus organizers argued that the wording of the ordinance is too broad and said that the eviction notice was a “slap in the face.”
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