Occupy Charlotte taking battle to court after police arrest 7 at campsite | News
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – Occupy Charlotte is taking its battle to court. This after police officers arrested protestors who failed to comply with a new city ordinance.
Seven protestors were arrested and charged with obstructing and delaying arrest, according to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department spokesman.
Occupiers told WBTV Monday night they have filed a motion for an injunction to keep police from enforcing the new ordinance.
According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, demonstrators with the Occupy group had until 2:30 p.m. Monday to remove their tents from the lawn at old City Hall or officers will do it for them.
The group has been in place in Charlotte since early October and is protesting what Occupy Charlotte calls cooperate greed.
"The tents actually are the symbol of the occupy movement," said protestor Craig Glisson. "They symbolize that we're not going anywhere until we get our voices heard."
A new city ordinance was passed last week and went into affect at midnight, banning camping on public grounds.
Occupiers that WBTV spoke to say there's a loophole allowing them to stay and keep their tents as long as they're not using them to sleep in or for storage.
"We actually feel the police are not in compliance with the rules," said protestor Michael Zytkow. "And we want our property back. We want our tents back."
Zytkow also said the ordinance is a result of what he calls DNC "fever" and says city leaders are trampling on their first amendment rights in an effort to be ready for the DNC.
"There's a new disease going around Charlotte," he said. "It's called DNC fever where Members of our local government and CMPD are acting in an awfully suspicious manner. They're not disclosing how their using the security funds. We think we have the right to demand to know exactly what they're spending this money on."
While occupiers may be fired up over losing their encampment others like Sherlock Hart, a Charlotte resident, feel differently.
"I'm glad they're gone," he said. "It looks a lot better down there. There are laws and rules you have to follow in life. You just don't go off and do things all willy-nilly."
While some protestors were carried away by police for refusing to stand up and move, police said the effort was a successful one, with no violence.
"The people involved with Occupy Charlotte from the beginning have been for the most part peaceful, non violent, just want to get their message across," said Captain Jeff Estes with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
Members have a court appearance scheduled for Tuesday morning and a hope a judge will rule in their favor.
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