Local News

Protesters weighing option of occupying Raleigh parking lot

Posted November 15, 2011

— Members of the so-called "Occupy Raleigh" movement on Tuesday are considering an offer to set up a base in a downtown parking lot, which some say does not meet their needs. 

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to prohibit the group from camping behind City Hall. The council said allowing such a camp would reverse efforts to prevent people from sleeping on city property, and members also cited concerns about security, cost, noise and potential crime.

Mayor-elect Nancy McFarlane brokered a deal for the protesters to set up camp in a privately owned gravel parking lot on the corner of Lenoir and Blount streets.

"When they asked for space, they asked that it could be from 7 o'clock at night to 7 in the morning, that they were willing to pack up their things during the day. So, I passed that all on to the property owner, and they're working that out," McFarlane said.

Some protesters said, however, that the site was unacceptable. It was too small for their needs, and it wasn't in a safe area, they said, noting it was next to a burned-out house.

Students at Shaw University, which sits across the street from the parking lot, also weren't thrilled by the prospect of a tent city near campus.

"I think it would bother a whole lot of people because it's right here by the school," student Asiaiana Littlejohn said. "We have to walk by it. We don't want to see all that. We don't want to hear all that."

Lot owner Muriel Boyd said she doesn't know if a deal can be reached with the protesters, noting that she leases out spaces in the lot for downtown parking.

Group says Raleigh parking lot won't work as protest base Group says Raleigh parking lot won't work as protest base

Occupy members met Tuesday night and decided to allow some of the group to visit the site. A final decision will be made on Friday.

Members of the group said their protests will continue even without a base camp.

"I think the 'Occupy' movement is stronger than any one location," protester Joseph Huberman said. "The 'Occupy' movement will continue as long as there is this tremendous injustice with the accumulation of wealth in very few people."

Protester Kurt Zehnder said he isn't so sure the movement can grow without a base.

"There’s always going to be somebody here (protesting), but how effective that will be without a base camp, I don’t know," Zehnder said.

Since the demonstrators began their protest outside the State Capitol about a month ago, 28 people have been arrested, police said. Some were cited for overstaying a permit that has been issued to the group, while others were taken into custody on charges that they were blocking a public sidewalk.


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  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Nov 16, 2011

    These professional protesters who are paid for by Soros and Obama's reelection campaign through their proxies ACORN and SEIU, need to quit being parasites who are paid protesters and go get a real job.

  • ifcdirector Nov 16, 2011

    What Raleigh really needs is a new mayor who will as her first goal find a place to bring ring worm and parasites and drugs and disease and violence to downtown Raleigh. We have one now thanks to the last election? Nevermind

  • ellengraham5660 Nov 16, 2011

    I absolutely do NOT get what these people are doing - other than wasting the taxpayer dollar. They stand for NOTHING - they are creating messes and violence most everywhere - why are they not at work? or looking for a job? Do they have NOTHING to do? I don't understand at all. It is typical of the entitlement crowd, though, I suppose.

  • Bob3425 Nov 16, 2011

    etshoney -- Don't have to take the money from the rich, pretty soon the dollar will not be the world's money. When that happens you'll see riot in the street, crime rate through the roof. America is going down, unless something is done, in Washington, country need to stop spending and giving benefits to those that haven't earned them. Mark my words we have see the bad times yet.

  • Karmageddon Nov 16, 2011

    "does not meet their needs"????? Poor babies....they've been accustomed to having everything they want.....how awful

  • big carl Nov 16, 2011

    "must be made in America OR IT'S NOT BOUGHT IN MY HOME!!"

    sure it isn't...otherwise you are not using any computers, tv, phones, basically any electronics at all then are you??? how about clothes or shoes???not wearing any?? refridgerator??? get off your soap box champ!!!

  • big carl Nov 16, 2011

    "which some say does not meet their needs. "

    lmao they have needs??? give me a break!!! they should be glad they havent been pepper sprayed and locked up...

  • cwood3 Nov 16, 2011

    GO HOME!!! Or go to the heart of the problems-1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Oh-he probably sent you guys!! Is he paying you as well???

    Wall St is not the issue. Banks are not the issue. Who issues all the regs for manufacturing?? Who demands the world for their workers(unions). That's why manufacturing has gone elsewhere. Americans will not accept a world pay rate to make goods-it's too low!!

    That's where the jobs have gone.

    Suggestion-buy American made products ONLY!! if it's made over- seas, we don't need it. Computers-tv's, appliances, cars,...
    must be made in America OR IT'S NOT BOUGHT IN MY HOME!!

  • sczarnecki Nov 16, 2011

    Simple a waste of time to protest,you people will not change any thing at all,your taking away police to do there public duty to serve the people,your causing more problems,then good.GO HOME!

  • working for deadbeats Nov 16, 2011

    You can have Blount and Lenoir. LOL!