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#OccupyMaine continues - with hints of city standoff

Conflict with city authorities is in the wings in Portland, on the sixth day of the occupation of Monument Square.

After a cold night in their tents at Lincoln Park, the OccupyMaine folk are back drumming and holding signs in Monument Square (there is a light overnight presence in the square too, so the occupation doesn't end there, and rather has a second location at the tent colony). 

Donations continue to roll in - $100 in cash came from a man whose daughter is involved in the Wall Street action (her boyfriend, he said, was arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge over the weekend). Local businesses are stepping up - various of them are letting occupiers use their bathrooms, and Spartan Grill right in Monument Square is accepting donations if people want to ship items (as opposed to bringing them down in person).

Participants are of all ages, and parents are saying they'll bring their kids to join in demonstrations and marches over the weekend and on the Columbus Day holiday.

It is presently unclear whether city officials will attempt to prevent the occupation from continuing indefinitely - the OccupyMaine group apparently applied for a city-required permit to put up a canopy in Monument Square under which to take shelter in inclement weather. The city's response - which I am attempting to get from city officials at this hour - resulted in an indignant press release from OccupyMaine saying the city was attempting to limit their First Amendment rights.

When I called the city official who issued the response - which has something to say about a one-week duration (but again remains unclear until I can see the document itself) - he began the conversation by saying "I can't help you." Indeed, he passed me on to his supervisor, who was not in the office just then. I'll post more when I hear back.

The next group event is the General Assembly, which will be at 6 pm in Monument Square (that's a daily occurrence, so put it on your calendar). Marches and other events will be planned then.


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