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In this photo takn, Friday, Jan. 6, 2012, Mike Golash, of Washington, a volunteer who staffs the "People In this photo takn, Friday, Jan. 6, 2012, Mike Golash, of Washington, a volunteer who staffs the "People's Library" for Occupy DC, (seen partially obscured) talks with Allister Nelson, 19, center, and Libby Addison, 18, both visiting from the College of William & Mary, in McPherson Square in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)  

Conservatives to Occupy DC: ‘We’re taking back the park!’

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

A group of conservatives has a message for protesters at one of the Occupy D.C. gathering spots: “We’re taking back the park!”

The National Center for Public Policy Research has acquired a permit to “reclaim half of Freedom Plaza — one of the two public parks overtaken by the Occupy D.C. mob — for the next five weeks,” according to a flier being circulated by the think tank and obtained by The Daily Caller. (RELATED: Full coverage of Occupy Wall Street)

In the “Occupy Occupy D.C.” brochure, the organization invites supporters to, “Join us for our kick-off pro-free market, pro-family and pro-freedom rally and help us take back the park.”

The think tank plans to start rallying at Freedom Plaza on Feb. 13. The invitation says the rally will include speakers and “flag-waving, not flag-burning.”

“We don’t plan to live there,” David Almasi, the executive director of the organization, told TheDC in an interview. “We don’t plan to break any of the rules they seem to be breaking.”

But Almasi said they’ll be there “on a regular basis” to promote the message of freedom — “what’s missing from [the Occupy] protests.”

While these conservatives will be sharing space with the Occupiers, Almasi said they don’t intend on getting into any altercations.

“We hope not,” he said. “We’re not trying to provoke them. We hope they’ll respect our right to free speech.”

Almasi also said other free-market groups are invited to join them in Freedom Plaza.

“If another group would like to come out there that we believe in, we’re more than happy to stand side by side,” he said.

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