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Dec 13, 2011 7:00 AM by Kate Richards

Authorities removing Occupy protestors

BALTIMORE (AP) - Authorities in full riot gear have been removing Occupy Baltimore protesters from a downtown plaza where they have been camped out for months.

Baltimore City police moved into McKeldin Square around 3:30 a.m this morning. The raid appeared to be peaceful.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake issued a statement about an hour later saying the city is "committed to protecting individuals' right to protest." However, she added that the city's public parks and green areas should not be treated as a permanent campground.

City officials recently denied Occupy Baltimore's request for a permit to continue their protest in the plaza.

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