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Occupy El Paso Permit Renewed

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POSTED: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 7:43pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 7:52pm

EL PASO- Occupy El Paso demonstrators went to the City Council meeting to renew their camping permit in San Jacinto Plaza.

The group has been staying for 24 hours a day at the plaza. Seventeen participants of Occupy El Paso signed up to speak and attend today's meeting.

People told their personal stories and how they felt the community has been helping their cause.

At one point, Steve Ortega voiced his discontent with the groups request to ratify their permit and be allowed to stay overnight in the plaza for the rest of the month. " We would treat occupy El Paso the same as we would treat the Klu Klux Klan if they were in the Placita. Those are just the rules of law that we have to abide by."

Ortega stressed his point that if they allow the protestors to stay in the plaza, they will be setting a precedent that will be difficult to follow. He also said that the first amendment will have to be honored for everyone, no matter what the message is.

Anessa Anchondo-Rivera, the official permit holder for Occupy El Paso was offended by Ortega's comment. "If the Klu Klux Klan were an all inclusive group that are peacefully assembling, then they should be able to use the plaza, because there should be no restriction on First Amendment rights. However they're not that kind of group. We are a peaceful group- we are all inclusive."

City Council voted 5 to 3 to ratify Occupy El Paso's permit until November 13th.