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Occupy Petaluma demonstrators vow to be 'responsible neighbors'

Two Occupy Petaluma members addressed the City Council on Monday night to advise the city of their intentions for the demonstrations planned to begin Saturday at a city park.

Protesters will meet at noon at Penry Park at Kentucky Street north of Washington Street.

"We are committed to the principles of democracy and nonviolence in our meetings, protests and all other areas of our common endeavor to create a more just and peaceful society," the group said in a letter read to the council.

Eight members of the group attended the council meeting on Monday night. They said the group does not want to be a burden to the city financially.

"Since Occupy Petaluma poses a unique challenge for the city's permit process, we would like to assure you that we are committed to being responsible neighbors in the Penry Park neighborhood and the entire community. We intend to be supportive of the concerns and interests of surrounding businesses. We don't want our presence to be a burden on city resources, and accordingly, we intend to provide our own services in the areas of security, sanitation, noise management and so forth through a variety of committees," the letter states.

Councilman Mike Healy urged the demonstrators to turn in their permit request soon so city staff can evaluate issues such as the planned hours, sanitation options, amplified sound and after-hours activity. The park is closed from 10 p.m. to 6 am.


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