Police identify 20 protesters arrested at Occupy Raleigh

Hundreds gather at Occupy Raleigh

tmcdonald@newsobserver.comOctober 16, 2011 

Early on, OccupyRaleigh had the look and feel of a 1960s peace rally, with songs by Pete Seeger, Gil Scot Heron and John Lennon blaring from loudspeakers.

A crowd that resembled a family gathering streamed from the old State Capitol grounds and onto Fayetteville Street, chanting "Wall Street got a bailout and we got sold out!" and "How do you solve the deficit? End the war! Tax the rich!"

But by late afternoon Saturday, after most of the crowd had dispersed, about 200 protesters debated whether to stay overnight in the park, like their counterparts in New York and other cities, and risk arrest.

After nightfall, police arrested 20 people and charged them with second-degree trespassing. One also was charged with disorderly conduct.

Raleigh police identified the 20 this morning. You can read a spreadsheet of their names and addresses, released by the police, by clicking the link under "related content" on the right side of this page.

The N.C. Department of Administration permit for the rally allowed protesters to be on the grounds for four hours, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. State officials denied Occupy Raleigh's request to use the grounds over the next three weeks.

At Occupy Raleigh's peak, hundreds of people gathered on the south side of the State Capitol in solidarity with the anti-corporate movement that began last month on Wall Street and has spread across the country.

The movement says it represents the 99 percent of Americans who control 57 percent of the country's financial wealth.

They say the other 1 percent makes decisions that take away their jobs, homes and access to health care.

Tricia Robertson and Christina Tademy drove to Raleigh from Martinsville, Va., where both women lost their jobs last year when the company they worked for went out of business.

Robertson said Wells Fargo, whose downtown building loomed in front of her, took her house in May because she did not qualify for a loan modification.

"I didn't quit my job," Robertson's sign read. "My job quit me."

Traci Barger, a 38-year-old Raleigh mother of three, told the crowd she was a single mom, attending school and working a part-time job to make ends meet.

"There are issues I am fairly passionate about," Barger said. "I've never protested. I've never marched for anything. I've never even angrily blogged about an issue, but I couldn't ignore this."

Not all of those in attendance supported Occupy Raleigh.

Jeff Moore, a 27-year-old real estate investor who lives in Raleigh, wore a white T-shirt with the word "Capitalist" emblazoned in green lettering across the front.

He said the protesters' actions are misguided.

"This is how I was raised, you get to keep what you earned," Moore said. "If you worked and earned a living, the promise of America was you get to keep it."

Another dissenter, Hans Mentha of Wake County, leaned on a walking stick while holding a sign that denounced communism.

"They want something that other people have," Mentha said. "And I'm sorry, but it ain't gonna happen on my watch."

Police presence

Just after 3 p.m., Stacie Borrello, a freelance writer who organized the rally via Facebook and requested the permit, told the crowd it was her "undesirable task to tell you it is time to disperse."

The small crowd of mostly young, college-age protesters booed and replied in unison, "Hell no, we won't go!"

As the protesters gathered under a statue of former Presidents Andrew Jackson, James Polk and Andrew Johnson, Nick Woomer-Deters, a Raleigh attorney and legal observer at the event, said the group was risking arrest by holding an assembly on state property without a permit.

But after discussing whether they should risk arrest, Eddie Samara of Raleigh announced some of the group would stay on the State Capitol grounds.

"We should not police ourselves for the police," Samara, a home school teacher, told the group.

"None of the system can hold up without our complicity."

Just after 7 p.m., two Raleigh police prisoner transport vans arrived on the south side of the Capitol on Morgan Street, along with an ambulance.

The police blocked a section of the street and beefed up their presence to more than 50 uniformed officers.

About two dozen protesters remained on the State Capitol grounds, sitting in a tight circle with arms clasped.

Police warned them several times to leave, then arrested them one by one.

Other protesters who watched from a few feet away on the sidewalk were not arrested.

McDonald: 919-673-5036

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