Earlier this week, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed abruptly uprooted the protesters at Occupy Atlanta, arresting more than 50 demonstrators. State Sen. Vincent Fort (D), who was arrested with demonstrators, blasted Reed for the move, saying, “This is the most peaceful place in Georgia. At the urging of the business community, he’s moving people out. Shame on him.”
One day after Reed evicted the Atlanta protesters, the U.S. Census Bureau reported new figures that show the city of Atlanta has the nation’s widest income gap between the rich and the poor:
Atlanta, Georgia, has widest income gap between rich and poor of all the major U.S. cities, the U.S. Census reported on Wednesday. New Orleans ranks second, followed by the U.S. capital, Washington, D.C. Rounding out the list of 10 big cities with the largest gaps between high and low income are Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Gainesville, in Florida; Athens, Georgia; New York; Dallas, Texas; and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Last night, nearly 200 protesters gathered in Centennial Olympic Park to plan Occupy Atlanta’s next steps. The group will be announcing a “reorganization” and may find a new place to encamp.
As Georgia Politico notes, Mayoral Candidate Al Bartell issued a statement calling on the protesters to be promptly released from detainment: “The City of Atlanta’s policy on the right for public assembly has withstood the test of time, even to the end of the twentieth century. At midnight last night, Atlanta’s Mayor destroyed the cornerstone of the American Constitution and threw this city back in time to an era of violence against community.
I am calling for the immediate release of the Occupy Atlanta protesters and to re-establish the integrity of Atlanta’s public policy on the right for public assembly.”