Occupy Raleigh: 100 days, 2 more arrests

Protesters marched down Faytteville Street

February 19, 2012 1:36:35 PM PST
Members of the Occupy Raleigh movement continue to protest, despite the arrests of two members on what was supposed to be a milestone for the group.

On Sunday, occupiers gathered at the State Capitol in downtown Raleigh to mark their 100th day of protests. The group marched down Fayetteville Street shouting "Who's Streets? Our Streets," while demanding an end to what they call corporate greed in America.

"We're here to demand accountability from our lawmakers," protester Stacie Borrello said. "This march is just one part of it. You'll continue to see us do things out here to bring attention."

During the gathering, police arrested two men - 25-year-old Nicholas Alan Warren Johnson and 33-year-old John Christopher Pearson. Authorities said they refused to leave the traffic lanes on Fayetteville Street and were charged with impeding the flow of traffic. Pearson was also charged with resisting, delaying or obstructing law enforcement.

After being taken into custody, police discovered that Johnson had two outstanding warrants for failing to appear in court.

In its 100 days, Occupy Raleigh has seen several of its protesters arrested.

Their protest began on Oct. 15, when 20 protesters were arrested outside the State Capitol for refusing to move off of the sidewalk in front of the building.

The encampment was later deemed to be a safety hazard and was forced to move to its current West Street location. Police said the camp was blocking the sidewalk with chairs, signs and debris.

Despite obstacles, the Occupy Raleigh movement remains solid.

"We are here for 100 days, and we are saying we're going to be staying here," protester Elizabeth Zukowski said Sunday. "We're not going anywhere. We started at the Capitol. Now we have our camp down there on West Street, and we're not going anywhere."

However nationally, critics have said the movement is losing steam.

Last November, protesters were evicted from Zuccotti Park in New York City - the inception of the Occupy movement.

Earlier this month and after two months of camping out at the Peace and Justice Plaza on Franklin Street, Occupy Chapel Hill packed up, citing that the encampment was too "time consuming."

Meanwhile, at a time of pivotal politics and a GOP primary approaching in North Carolina, Occupy Raleigh protesters have said they are not be going anywhere.

"We need the people to go out and vote, based on being informed about the issues, and part of that is informing the public about what's happening in America," Borrello said. "We're going to continue to be out here throughout the spring, throughout the summer, throughout the fall to continue to raise public awareness."

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