8 Occupy Raleigh members arrested

8 Protesters Arrested Thursday in Raleigh

October 26, 2011 9:00:00 PM PDT
Police arrested eight Occupy Raleigh members Thursday after they refused to move off of the sidewalk in front of the State Capital building.

They are charged with second-degree trespassing and as members try to raise bond to free those who were arrested, supporters have been protesting their arrests.

According to police, the protestors were blocking the sidewalk with chairs, signs and debris, but protestors say it's their right to be there.

"The public sidewalks, and the Capitol, the lands that belong to the people, belong to the people and it's unjust for them to be ordered off the sidewalk to shutdown freedom of speech," protestor Eddy Samara said.

Among those arrested was Margaret Schucker, a woman who says she is disabled and she has a handicap decal. She says she has chronic lower back pain, and she refused to get up from her chair and was removed by officers.

Schucker was charged and released hours later.

"As a handicapped person, I believe that I had a right to sit on a chair, and if it wasn't legally wrong, it was at least morally wrong for two officers to drag me out of the chair," she said.

Capitol Police say they gave her the opportunity to move and officers took the correct action.

"We expressed to them the general rule that the sidewalk be cleared of any chairs," Chief Scoot Hunter said. "And of course [they] refused to move and was arrested. There were no obvious signs of handicap that would keep them from moving or walking."

The latest round of arrests related to the Occupy Raleigh movement comes after 20 people were arrested outside the State Capitol on October 15. Protestors say they're not giving up their fight for economic justice. Some say they are returning to the State Capitol Friday.

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