But what has really lit their fuse is Mayor Reed not immediately scooping up the Occupy People by the britches and flinging them out the park. They do have a point.
Although, one could argue that Mayor Reed was put in a difficult situation by the campers and hindsight is 20/20, that the occupiers are violating city ordinance by remaining in the park past 11:00pm is undisputed. It will probably cause a headache at some point in the future.
Debbie Dooley and the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots (conveniently located in Dacula) want to cause Mayor Reed's head to throb now. They demand an extension of the same courtesy to the Tea Party and if he doesn't, by God, they aren't afraid to lawyer up. From an email sent to the Mayor's office.
We have noticed that the City of Atlanta has waived many of your ordinances, fees, etc., in regard to the Occupy Atlanta protests. We have called in the past to find out information for events on City of Atlanta venues like Woodruff Park and have been told it would require a permit and fees and there were restrictions. In the future, Atlanta Tea Party expects to receive the same “benefits” or waiving of fees, permits, restrictions that you have accorded the Occupy Atlanta protests. If we don’t, we will seek legal action.
You have to get past the comedic image of a woman who once told me she was afraid to ride MARTA at night alone, camping out in Atlanta's version of Hooverville. But once there, it is easy to think she and her compatriots are right.
To a point.
There is a subtle difference. Occupy Atlanta didn't exactly start as an "event'. It started as a metastasized version of the homeless problem around the park. People sleeping overnight ain't exactly a new problem down there. And every now and then the city will come along and roust them out.
Where Occupy Atlanta began crossing the line was when they started building things and then decided to throw in with an already permitted festival. Anyone watching the growing spectacle could see Mayor Reed's patience growing thin.
It finally broke when, due to security reasons, the city pulled the permit on the music festival. The lunatics running the asylum decided to keep romping. Their romp included a non-permitted generator and when the Mayor's people tried to tell the press the what for, they began shouting that it is "their park".
There's a big difference between asking forgiveness instead of permission (the tact the occupiers originally took) and asking permission that is refused and proceeding anyway (the line they finally crossed this weekend).
And, despite the conspiratorially minded, I doubt the Tea Party would have been treated any differently.
If some Tea Partiers sporting powdered wigs, waving American flags showed up sans permit on public property screaming about God knows what, I doubt the city would do much. I know this because I saw the Ron Paul people (sometimes with muskets!) do it in 2008.
But if those tea partiers, sans permits, rolled out a stage, a generator and began putting on a Let Freedom Ring concert, were told they couldn't do it and kept on rolling, I imagine they would receive exactly the same reception the occupiers are now facing.
It's a subtle difference. But the difference is there.
Not that it will matter. Subtlety is quickly lost in the whirlwind of the screaming mi-mis.