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Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011 03:32 pm

OCCUPIERS GO INSIDE

While authorities in New York and elsewhere this week shut down Occupy Fill-In-Your-City-Here protests, Springfield occupiers who had planned a round-the-clock presence at the Old State Capitol Plaza faded away before their city permit expired on Tuesday.

Spot checks over the past week revealed gaps in protest hours. Drew Duzinskas of Springfield, one of the protesters, said that a permanent presence proved tough with fewer than 10 hardcore occupiers and a ban on setting up tents, laying out sleeping bags or doing anything other than standing.

“Maybe the 24/7 occupation has crested, but I think the movement will survive the winter,” Duzinskas predicted. “I don’t think we’ve peaked yet.”

About two dozen occupiers attended Tuesday’s city council meeting, taking up most of the first two rows of the spectator section. Ward 3 Ald. Doris Turner recognized the group near the end of the meeting, inviting anyone with an interest to visit the group’s website and Facebook page.

Cliff Buscher, deputy police chief, said he wasn’t aware of any complaints while protestors did their thing on the plaza.

“We haven’t had any problem with them so far, and I don’t anticipate any in the future, hopefully,” Buscher said. “They’ve been very peaceful.”

While big corporations and capitalism run amok have been in the crosshairs, Duzinskas said there is talk of turning attention to local issues.

“Bus fare increases are upsetting people,” he said.
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