Occupy Dallas, City Agree on Move to City Hall Park

Group approves agreement with city to relocate to City Hall Park

Friday, Oct 14, 2011  |  Updated 11:42 PM CDT
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Occupy Dallas will move its tents and headquarters from Pioneer Plaza to behind City Hall.

Meredith Land, NBC 5 News

Occupy Dallas will move its tents and headquarters from Pioneer Plaza to behind City Hall.

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Occupy Dallas Fights to Keep Tents in City Park

The city has revoked a permit for Occupy Dallas, but demonstrators are refusing to leave Pioneer Plaza as attorneys on both sides work to reach an agreement.

"Occupy Dallas" Protesters Go To Court

The "Occupy Dallas" group wants to keep protesting the banking industry and Wall Street at Pioneer Plaza and is going to court to fight the city's required permit to protest.
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The fight to "occupy" downtown Dallas was expected to go before a federal judge Friday morning, but the city and the protest group came to an agreement.

Occupy Dallas filed a federal injunction Wednesday afternoon for a permit to camp in Pioneer Plaza indefinitely. The night before, the city revoked the group's permit because Occupy Dallas did not obtain a $1 million insurance policy and said it would begin enforcing local ordinances.

But by the time both parties were due in court Friday, they agreed that the protesters would move behind City Hall on the south side of the building by 5 p.m. Sunday.

"Dallas PD I don't think wants to arrest anybody. We don't want to have anybody arrested, and we're more than happy to move," Occupy Dallas organizer Michael Prestonise said. "It's actually going to be a great location."

The group said its General Assembly approved the city's offer to relocate by a 47-21 vote. Occupy Dallas said it will relocate its tents and shelters to City Hall Park on Sunday afternoon.

Under the agreement, the group can stay behind City Hall for 60 days.

Occupy Dallas said it would continue to protest in Pioneer Plaza during the day.

"There are two real issues or forces that need to be balanced together," Occupy Dallas attorney Cameron Gray said. "One of them is the right of the city government to take care of its park, and the other is the First Amendment rights of the protesters to be able to express their grievances, to assemble peacefully and address their grievances to the government."

Protesters with Occupy Dallas have been staying in Pioneer Plaza for just more than a week while demonstrating against the banking industry and Wall Street. The group said about 150 people have been staying in Pioneer Plaza, with more joining marches during the day. Demonstrators have set up tents, including some set up for day care, food and medicine.

Tourists visiting from England said the agreement came too late. Dave Staiano said his family was looking forward to visiting Pioneer Plaza.

"We've heard all about your statue, and it's a phenomenal place, and we're really disappointed that we get here, and we see this," he said.

Occupy Dallas said protesters will march from Pioneer Plaza to the Goldman Sachs office in Crescent Court at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

NBC 5's Kevin Cokely and Ray Villeda contributed to this report

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