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Despite Deadline, Occupy New Haven Demonstrators Vow To Stay

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Occupy New Haven demonstrators raise a flag on the city green. Photo by WTIC's Matt Dwyer.

Occupy New Haven demonstrators raise a flag on the city green. Photo by WTIC’s Matt Dwyer.

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP and WTIC-AM Staff) — Occupy New Haven protesters say they won’t be leaving the city Green despite requests by local officials.

Irving Pinsky, an attorney for the protesters, said the group announced Monday they won’t leave.

“The only response we got to any of our demands is an eviction letter,” demonstrator Ben Aubin said, as another protester tore up a copy of the city notice. “City hall and its representatives have no interest in this kind of social change.”

Copies of the notice were taped to the outside of Occupy New Haven tents Monday morning.

Occupy protesters say they are staying on the Green because city officials have not met their demands for improved school funding and low-income housing, longer library hours and an end to foreclosures.

City officials told the protesters that Wednesday will be the last day tents, structures and other materials will be lawfully permitted on the green. Officials say the city has been respectful of the movement’s message.

City officials declined further comment.

“This notice is to inform any and everyone who has been participating in the Occupy New Haven demonstration that WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 2012 is the last day tents, other structures and any other such materials will be permitted to be on the New Haven Green lawfully.  On or before that date, you must take down any and all tents and structures and vacate the New Haven Green,” the notice read.

“This area must be cleaned up and restored for use by others wishing to enjoy the New Haven Green,” the notice read. “Both the City of New Haven and the Proprietors of the Green appreciate the dedication you have brought to the cause of economic justice, and we wish you well as you move forward elsewhere.”

After he read a statement on behalf of Occupy New Haven, Aubin was asked if he expected future demonstrations to remain peaceful.

“Everyone can always do whatever they want. Nothing is going to hold them back from fighting for the kinds of change they would like to see, whether that be people who live here on the green, or people living in the community, I encourage autonomous action, and I do respect diversity of tactics,” Aubin said.

In some contexts, diversity of tactics means some protesters might be non-violent, while others might destroy property or fight if police try to arrest them.

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