Local News

'Occupy Raleigh' protesters vow to return after arrests

Posted October 16, 2011 11:47 a.m. EDT
Updated October 16, 2011 4:39 p.m. EDT

— Supporters of the "Occupy Wall Street" protests promised to be back in downtown Raleigh Sunday, a day after 20 people were arrested after a demonstration at the State Capitol.

Organizers of the "Occupy Raleigh" protests said they would convene again at State Capitol grounds on Edenton Street at noon and 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

"Even if we aren't back tomorrow morning, we will be back," law school student Jeanelle Alexander said Saturday.

The Occupy Raleigh protest drew hundreds early Saturday. The group doesn't have formal goals, but on Saturday, protesters expressed themes familiar with the movement: Corporations have too much power, and economic inequality affects the so-called "99 percent," or everyone but the 1 percent richest Americans.

Police said that more than 90 people remained at the rally around 7:30 p.m, more than four hours after their permits expired.

About 75 protesters moved to the sidewalk and continued their demonstration, police said, but 19 people stayed behind, locked arms and were arrested. A woman was also arrested two hours later for trying to enter the closed Capitol grounds.

Police said they charged 20 people with second-degree trespassing in connection with the protest:

  • Margaret Earls, 30, of 127 New Bern Place in Raleigh
  • Tariq Taylor, 21, of 490 Prospect Court in Pembroke
  • Benjamin Carroll, 33, of 100 Hill St. in Carboro
  • Wiliam Carroll, 27, of 1531 College View Ave. in Raleigh
  • Antonio Rahman, 38, of 624 Pine Ridge Place in Raleigh
  • Brian Haynes, 24, of 5412 Phillipsburg Drive in Raleigh
  • Joshua Harris, 29, of 102 Choptank Court, Cary
  • Philippe Chagnon, 66, of 729 Quail Ridge Road in Raleigh
  • Tricia Robertson, 38, of 233 Oakland Drive in Collinsville, Va.
  • Emily Galvin, 31, of 4720 Hoyle Drive in Raleigh
  • Katharine Fowler, 48, of 708 W. Hargett St. in Raleigh
  • Pamela Hawe, 60, of 1976 Wade Paschal Road in Siler City
  • Jessica Cronmiller, 34, of 4410 Cottage Stone Drive in Raleigh
  • Carissa Samara, 38, of 104 Chatham Lane in Raleigh
  • Christina Tademy, 36, of 717 Forest St. in Martinsville, Va
  • Jenna Strickland, of 24, 1115 Kent Road in Raleigh
  • Kurt Zehnder, 20, of 401 Cricketfield Lane in Cary
  • Anthony Raters, 29, of 3830 Jackson St. in Raleigh
  • Kenneth Thompson, 26, of 4713 J Capital Club Court in Raleigh
  • George Gulino, 28, of 104 Lakeview Drive in Youngsville

Demonstrators said the arrests were overkill.

"There's a lot more crime going on in the city of Raleigh, Durham and North Carolina that you have to worry about rather than people sitting around and exercising their rights," supporter Shawn Mitchell said. 

Like the movement in other cities, Occupy Raleigh wants to literally occupy ground, camping out through Nov. 5. State officials denied Occupy Raleigh that permit in part because the State Capitol Police don't have as many officers as before to provide extended security, Jill Lucas, a spokeswoman for the agency that oversees the police force, said Thursday.

The Legislature cut State Capitol Police funding this year by $2.3 million, leading to dozens of layoffs so that its officers largely work on weekdays.

"We are continuing to brainstorm alternative methods and options to obtain a permit and will continue to send a message to Raleigh that we intend to comply with laws should they choose to allow us to do so. However, we intend to begin our occupation," Angela Schulte, 36, of Cary, a member of the group, said Friday.

Last weekend, the Occupy Raleigh movement attracted about 200 people.

Similar groups have been developing in cities across North Carolina. "Occupy" meetings have been held in Wilmington, Winston-Salem and on college campuses. In Asheville, protesters have been camping at various downtown sites in hopes of finding a permanent spot to occupy, with 100 or more people attending nightly meetings at Pritchard Park.