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Newark to evict Occupy protesters from city park

February 9, 2012 4:48:49 AM PST
Occupy Newark protesters have been notified that they must leave a city park where they have been allowed to camp for the past two and a half months.

The Associated Press obtained a letter sent by city clerk Robert Marasco that says the group's permit ran out at 9 p.m. Wednesday. The dozens of protesters who have occupied Military Park in downtown Newark since mid-November will be given until 9 p.m. Thursday to leave the area.

"They had a meeting last night and they weren't too happy about it, but they want to keep it peaceful," said Eric Valdez of Jersey City, who has been at the encampment for about a week and a half. "I think they will meet the deadline."

In an online posting, Occupy Newark said it would consider requesting an extension until Feb. 16.

In December, the city council adopted an ordinance to give the group permission to stay in the park, and the most recent extension was to expire Wednesday.

About two dozen tents dotted the park Wednesday as a light snow fell. Valdez said the number of people camping out fluctuated and that its numbers included some homeless Newark residents.

In the letter dated Tuesday, the council told the group it "has been a pleasure to work with your organization in a way not seen in other cities where the Occupy Movement has been active."

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