John Penley Prepares for 24-Hour Protest, Starting in Tompkins Square Park

Screen shot 2011-10-14 at 5.53.27 PMSuzanne Rozdeba Mr. Penley at Zuccotti Park

Local activist John Penley said the occupation he’s organizing at Tompkins Square Park tomorrow is going to last 24 hours – regardless of whether or not the cops kick them out.

“We’ll be at the park until midnight. If the police force us out we’re going to leave and take over Avenue A,” Mr. Penley said while camped out at Occupy Wall Street. “If people don’t want to leave, I’ve been asking them to lay down and be arrested for nonviolent civil disobedience. We don’t want another riot, but we will be either in or out of the park for 24 hours.”

Mr. Penley said the Tompkins Square Park occupation would start at 12 p.m., and predicted that at least 200 protestors would march there from Zuccotti Park, with another group coming down from Times Square after an occupation there. “Because of the radical history of Tompkins Square Park, a lot of people have been wanting to see something in the park. Saturday’s the day to spread it out. I said, ‘Let’s do something.’”

The occupation has struck a nerve, he said, smiling broadly. “Many of the upscale people in the neighborhood said they’re going to leave for the weekend and that they’re canceling parties in expensive restaurants. I’m very happy to hear that I’ve run a bunch of yuppies out of the neighborhood. My comment to them is, ‘Go yuppies, go!’”