LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - They have removed their stakes and moved out. By order of the city, Occupy Louisville protesters had until midnight Friday to get out of a downtown park they've called home for months. Protesters said their file for a permit to stay was denied, so they appealed.
A copy of the letter sent by the city's chief of public safety, to Occupy Louisville details exactly why the group's appeal was denied. The city said the group must leave Founder's Square.
"At midnight tonight, we've got to go," said Occupy protester Bruce Ritter.
Ritter had slept in Founder's Square as an occupy protester for 4 months.
"I believe in Occupy," said Ritter as tears welled in his eyes. "I'm a true believer. We just need more people to believe in us."
In an appeal denial letter to Occupy Louisville, the city's chief of public safety cites the group has "...impeded full access to and precluded the unfettered use of the entire property by the general public..." and "...serious damage to the property."
"There have been some incidents here in the park that the police have had to been called. But, it's been relatively peaceful," said LMPD Lt. Michael O'Neil. "But, the city has decided that it's time for the people to leave because of the destruction of the park."
Jeannie Crask works downtown, across the street from Founder's Square.
"At the beginning, it seemed like they were very together and organized. But, as time went on, it got a little bit more out of hand, that I observed. It seems like in the last maybe 2 or 3 weeks, it's become kind of a haven also for some of the homeless," said Crask. "I just think it would be better to move along."
"I think it's a very wrong decision," said Ritter.
Marianna Ashey is also an Occupy Louisville supporter.
"The city has the right not to reissue the permit. But, they don't have the right or the ability to say that occupy is going away, we're not. We're still going to be active in the city."
LMPD handed out pamphlets to the group Friday afternoon, on resources available to the homeless. Occupy Louisville has set up a headquarters in office space at the Carl Braden Memorial Center on West Broadway.