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Occupy Ashland continues without problems

 Posted: 5:25 PM October 07, 2011

While a core group of Occupy Ashland protesters stayed overnight in the Ashland Plaza, today's crowd is smaller than the opening gathering on Thursday.

About 40 people were gathered on the Plaza at noon, the scheduled beginning of today's rally. Shortly after, a group of about 25 marched to Ashland's Chase Bank, where they planned to stay until the end of the business day.

Ashland resident Robbie Lindauer, an organizer of the Chase Bank protest, said some of the group will continue to protest in front of Chase through the weekend, starting at noon each day.

Ashland police responded to a report of protesters blocking the sidewalk in front of Chase Bank today at about 1:45 p.m., but officer Matt Caswell, who responded to the call, said protesters were cooperative when they were asked to keep the path clear.

No citations have been issued in relation to the protests so far, said Ashland Police Deputy Chief Corey Falls.

As a part of the protest, about 15 people spent the night in the Plaza.

"We'll be here again tonight, and through the weekend," said Emery Way, 24, a member of Ashland's student-led activist group Phronesis. "Following the path of Occupy Wall Street, we're going to keep it up for as long as we see reasonable."

Way said the group had at least a few people awake at all times overnight, in an attempt to keep police from citing protesters for illegal camping.

Falls said police will not issue citations for illegal camping to protesters who stay overnight in the Plaza, so long as they do not camp.

"The report we got last night was that no one was camping," he said. " They can be there as long as they want, they just can't camp there."

Way said he is willing to stay in the Plaza for "as long as it takes," so long as the groups numbers don't dwindle too low.

"If at the end of the night we only have two people willing to stay, then we won't," he said.

The Occupy Ashland protest is scheduled to run until 9 p.m.; speeches, presentations, and a display of artwork inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protest will be capped off by a two-hour long general assembly on the Plaza.

— Sam Wheeler

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