State News

Occupy Chapel Hill asks town council to review break-in arrests

Posted November 21, 2011

— Some people affiliated with Occupy Chapel Hill protested the city's response to an earlier occupation event in a vacant downtown building at the Chapel Hill Town Council meeting Monday evening.

The group is upset that police in special tactics gear with guns drawn responded to the Nov. 13 occupation of an old car dealership. Seven people were charged with breaking and entering.

Protesters demonstrated outside police headquarters and then marched to Town Hall to ask council members to form an independent committee to review the arrests.

"There's no excuse whatsoever for going in with assault weapons," said Pete MacDowell. "It's not what Chapel Hill is. It's not the values Chapel Hill and Orange County represent, and they shouldn't have done it."

Occupy Chapel Hill Occupy Chapel Hill protests force used in recent arrests

About a dozen speakers urged the council to take a look at what happened and make sure it doesn't happen again.

"Why were there no attempts to talk to the people inside the building before authorizing a military-style raid?" asked Bert Gurganus.

Councilwoman Laurin Easthom proposed that the town issue an apology to two journalists arrested in the fray, but when the council deferred the decision, protesters began chanting their displeasure.

Frustrated, Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt called for a break.

The council continued with its planned agenda and tabled any official action on the requests from the Occupy group.

199 Comments

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  • Sherlock Nov 23, 2011

    These individuals entered into the build which was not their, nor under the authorizatin of the owner. They should be in jail.

  • epee131 Nov 23, 2011

    Assembling and Protesting in public space and not preventing non-protestor movement is completely acceptable. Stand in a public park, obey the law, and protest all you want. Take over private property without consent or block bystander movement (shut down a street) and you should be arrested and prosecuted for the laws you are breaking. I don't care what your cause is. Your concerns don't give you rights over me and whats mine.

  • Dido Nov 22, 2011

    "Why were there no attempts to talk to the people inside the building before authorizing a military-style raid?" asked Bert Gurganus.~~Maybe because they broke into a building, covered the windows, covered their faces and posted a lookout on the roof. Doesn't sound like a "peaceful" situation to me.

  • mfarmer1 Nov 22, 2011

    Simple, Denied.

  • aetius476 Nov 22, 2011

    "I can't understand why these people seem to think that it's OK for them to just take over a [ship] which they don't own."

    But the colonists did not take ofver the ship, they boarded it and dumped part of the cargo owned by the entity they were protesting to make a point.

    These kids broke into the private property of someone who had nothing to do with what they are protesting, vandalized his property, and planned to have a party.

    What did the owner of the Yates building do to deserve this treatment and have his property trashed?

    Why did they not go "occupy" Wells Fargo or CH town hall. This guy had nothing to do with the issue.

  • anti-Hans Nov 22, 2011

    "My method would have been 8 police with megaphones. But hey it's your taxes paying for the police overtime."
    cvdurhm

    Give me a break dude! 70 people would overwhelm 8 police officers with megaphones.

    Tne police did NOT use excessive force. They came to the battle ready if needed, but last I checked nothing was fired. Some of you just need to get a life and be thankful you have police protection.

  • citizensoldier16 Nov 22, 2011

    This is old news WRAL...time to cover something else. Or does this story just support your agenda?

  • mmtlash Nov 22, 2011

    you break the law then complain when the cops come and arrest you.... yeah ok....don't be mad b/c you got caught doing something you knew you had no business doing

  • wral mods blow close my account Nov 22, 2011

    "run ins with the law and lost"
    hunter38

    Yeah that one speeding ticket hurt. After half a decade of driving I was WAAAAAAAAAY overdue.

  • Ambygirl Nov 22, 2011

    About a dozen speakers urged the council to take a look at what happened and make sure it doesn't happen again. ====================================

    That's an easy solution. Don't break and enter......... NEXT?
    Bartmeister
    November 22, 2011 3:40 p.m

    Right on Bartmeister!!

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