Occupy Atlanta on 11.5.11 (Guy Fawkes day) -- The Aftermath

It's interesting -- after the Occupy Atlanta occupiers were evicted from Woodruff Park and arrested last weekend (without incident, mind you -- no pepper spray, no tear gas, no beatings. The Atlanta Police were very civil and treated them right), the city posted numbers on how much the Occupation has cost taxpayers: nearly half a million dollars. But every news broadcast I saw mentioning the numbers made sure to include the sound byte from the mayor explaining that the vast majority of it was in police overtime pay.

Doesn't it make sense then to just save taxpayer money and let the Occupation take place in the park, as it had been for a month without incident?

Anyway. Last night, the Occupation decided to retake Woodruff Park. They announced this all week. It was quite smart -- they drew every single news organization in the city there, and with all the cameras pointed at them, they made their point. But at some point last night, things at Occupy Atlanta turned out much more dramatic than they did last weekend. I saw live on the news that the SWAT team had moved in. That's when I called my studiomate Tom Feister, asked him to grab my camera, and meet me at Woodruff Park to get whatever bits of the story we could.

By the time we got there, whatever drama had taken place had subsided. The streets were peaceful. The park -- empty. The protest was still going, but after the 20ish arrests that took place, the group had gotten much smaller. There were talks and murmurs about things that happened, the biggest being a motorcycle cop accelerating into one of the Occupiers, then arresting him. I wasn't there for that, so I have no opinion. But I do know that the live stream I was watching showed the incident, and it did look like the cop just ran into the guy and knocked him down.

At any rate, things were much more subdued when I arrived. This is what we saw when we got there:

Occupation isn't just the prevue of the youthful.

The larger group of Occupiers on Peachtree. The group had split into 2 at this point, but eventually reunited.

One of the cops filmed the Occupation. I'm not sure why, probably just for his own posterity. 

An abandoned Occupy Atlanta sign.

Cops lined the streets on either side, but they let the Occupation chant and march.

Double Barricades... What does it mean?

The Occupation as they marched down Peachtree, after the arrests and the bulk of the drama had subsided.

The double barricade setup that kept Occupiers from re-entering the park once they left.

The Red, White and Blue, lit by the glow of blue lights

Woodruff Park

Sherrif's paddywagon at Woodruff Park

Some of the Occupation, leaving.

Peachtree and Auburn Ave. cordoned off

Police staged 2nd and 3rd control units in alleyways and behind buildings, in case things got crazy.

One of two groups of Occupiers split down Peachtree. They eventually reunited and headed to Peachtree and Pine.

Cold Occupation.

This homeless guy gathered up signs for shelter.

This guy reminded me of a very noisy S1W.

This is the unofficial "leader" of Occupy Atlanta, Tim Franzen. He's always wearing the red hat, and is pretty much the voice of the occupation with the media. He was a nice guy.

This is Tom Feister, who was at the ready and joined me for my little photojournalistic endeavor. 

Franzen with Sharrod, his second-in-command (I believe -- Sharrod was helping Tim organize the next event)

A protest sign left standing on end.

Atlanta Police with Zip Ties moving out of the area.

These guys were one of the few groups of police that seemed to mind my taking pictures. They weren't rude, they just waved me on.

Cops chilling after not having to do too awful much. It was a very peaceful event.

Local news on the scene

It's interesting: Cops and SWAT show up to arrest and evict the Occupation, yet these two somehow made it through the barricades and wandered around the park without so much as a peep.

Occupy Everything (closeup)

Occupy Everything.

Guy Fawkes masks were on the scene, as you'd expect. 

Tim's bright red cap shines through the darkness.

This guy had a small netbook, webcam and 3g USB stick and was live streaming the entire evening. I watched his stream while headed up to the park.

Livestreaming some group dissent.

Some patriotic Occupiers

One of the occupation considers her shoes while talking with the Atlanta police. 

The occupation mulls over their options. I believe they made their way up to Peachtree & Pine from here.

An empty Woodruff Park... Except for the two preppy types I showed you earlier.