RALEIGH — Two Occupy Raleigh protesters were arrested Sunday after verbal clashes with police along Fayetteville Street during a march that marked the 100th day of the Raleigh protest.
A crowd of about 60 people gathered at the Capitol and moved down Fayetteville Street and up Salisbury Street chanting and holding signs. When police shooed many of the protesters off the street and onto the sidewalk, some of the protesters loudly objected.
Two protesters, Nicholas Alan Warren Johnson, 25, of Roanoke Rapids and John Christopher Pearson, 33, of Raleigh were charged with imeding the flow of traffic.
Enforcement action was taken after the suspects, who were on foot, declined numerous requests made by Raleigh Police Department officers to leave the vehicular travel lanes of Fayetteville Street, said Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue.
Johnson was also arrested in connection with two outstanding warrants for failing to appear in court. Pearson was also charged with resisting, delaying or obstructing law enforcement.
In October, Raleigh police charged 20 people with second-degree trespassing after they failed to heed a state official who asked protesters to leave the Capitol grounds.
Signs at Sundays event said the group seeks to protect American workers, to take money out of politics and to end an endless war.
Protesters shouted several chants during their march, including This is what democracy looks like and Whos court? Our court! They stood briefly in front of the Wake County Courthouse. They also shouted at the Wells Fargo building, which Occupy protesters have referred to as Wall Street West.
Occupy Raleigh says its goal is to raise awareness about economic justice and against corporate influence over elections and politics.
We all have our own individual things that we want changed, but the whole concept is (to stop) injustice, said member Elizabeth Zukowski.
Occupy Raleigh member Jeremy Gilchrist said engaging the public in conversation about the economy, inequality and corporate greed has been one of the groups biggest successes in its first 100 days.
He said even people who disagree with the group have taken the time to talk with its members at their camp on West Street.
Even if they dont walk away agreeing with us, a lot of them have at least had more respect for what were doing, Gilchrist said.
The group did hear from at least one passing driver who shouted an obscenity.
Occupy Raleigh doesnt plan to stop anytime soon. Gilchrist said he thinks efforts will pick up again in the spring when the weather gets warmer.