Sunday at Occupy Raleigh: Settling in at twilight.

[Update 4:25 p.m.: Joe Huberman posted a schedule for the City Council meetings tomorrow on the Occupy Raleigh legal forum. Note that meetings are at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.:

Here is the latest as I understand it on tomorrow’s City Council Meeting 11/1/11

1:00 P.M. Session

Mayor Meeker will request a report on the Police action and our 1st amendment rights at the 1:00 session of the meeting. It is very unlikely that we will be able to speak, but we are welcome to be in the audience and we can wear our identifying thing.

7:00 P.M. Session

Mayor Meeker will request that we be added to the agenda at the meeting so we can petition the City Council for our request to occupy Upchurch Park at the 7:00pm meeting.
At this time we will be able to speak to the City Council. We should keep our remarks short, to the point, and not repeat what others have said.

The tentative plan is that:

Joseph Huberman will present our request to the council and then introduce
Margaret Schucker who will speak next (The evening GA reached consensus for this on 10/30/11)

Others will then be asked if they have anything to add, and usually you move to the front row to show that you want to speak. You will be asked to state your name and address when you begin speaking.

At some point people in the audience who support our request will be asked to stand. It will be very useful to have as many people in the audience as possible at that time.

After we have spoken the City Council may approve our request, deny it, or refer it to a committee for further study.


The original post follows:

Gov. Bev Perdue’s spokesman said, following the arrests on Thursday at the Capitol, that Perdue wasn’t trying to squash Occupy Raleigh, only clear the sidewalk for the children and passers-by who were, well, not obstructed at all by the Occupiers prior to the arrests. If that was the Governor’s objective, she’ll doubtless be pleased to learn that Occupy Raleigh continues undaunted.

On Friday, the weather turned cold and rainy. It was one crappy day, but apparently 30-40 still showed up for Occupy Raleigh’s daily General Assembly at 6:30 p.m., and a small group remained overnight. Saturday and Sunday, the Occupation enjoyed better weather and the absence of Capitol cops. When I went by on Sunday evening at 6, a pair of Raleigh police officers were standing a benign guard across the street, but no Capitol cops were in evidence. About 30 men, women and a couple of children were on hand, with more expected by 6:30. I needed to leave before then, however.

I can report that the Perdue Doctrine — peaceably assembling is allowed, but chairs aren’t, even if you have a disability and need a chair — was being followed. Margaret Schucker, who caused the Capitol police such agitation Thursday, was back and sitting this time, not on her chair but on one of the permanent benches set by the monuments on the Capitol grounds adjacent to the sidewalk.

Why didn’t she sit there before? Because of the barricades keeping the Occupiers on the sidewalk and off the grounds. The barricades were key to the previous Perdue Doctrine, i.e., peaceably assembling is allowed, but not on the Capitol grounds, only on the sidewalk, chairs optional. On Thursday, the barricades went away.


On the subject of whether the Morgan Street sidewalk was obstructed prior to the arrests, Joe Huberman says it wasn’t (me, too), and he supplies this picture to prove it. He snapped it moments before the arrests.

Margaret Schucker & her chair: Are they blocking anybody?
  • photo by Joe Huberman
  • Margaret Schucker (foreground, with gray hair) & her chair: Are they blocking anybody?

Capitol Police Chief Scott Hunter had ordered everybody to get their stuff (water, food, Rx, chairs, bedding) off the sidewalk, and within a few minutes, they did — as he acknowledged. In fact, he seemed quite proud of the response. Only Margaret Schucker’s chair remained, with her in it. It was one of those $10 collapsible chairs that takes up no space, and if Hunter’d just left her alone, Schucker would’ve removed it and herself too when she went home for the night. Why he didn’t, I don’t know, except of course for that “rules are rules” thing that prohibits the use of common sense when one’s authority is challenged. The fact is, for days it had been the practice of Occupy Raleigh for people to announce, “Sidewalk!” whenever anyone who was not part of the OR group approached — and immediately anyone clustered on the sidewalk would clear the way. There simply was no sidewalk problem.

Further, Schucker said she had a disability and needed her little chair, and therefore she should be an exception to Hunter’s rule. I’d have let her keep it. Guess that’s why I’m not a cop. By the time Huberman took this picture, Katina Gad had put a second chair down next to Margaret’s — in solidarity. Before long, a half-dozen others seated themselves in front of those two as Hunter’s guys moved in.


So now I hear that Occupy Raleigh may relocate off the Capitol grounds for awhile if, that is, they can work out an arrangement with the Raleigh City Council for “occupational” use of the space in front of City Hall and on the Dawson Street side (what’s called The Pit, in front, plus green space on the west which apparently is named Avery Upchurch Park — after the late former mayor).

Occupy Raleigh folks are planning to be at the City Council meeting Tuesday at 1 p.m., and Mayor Charles Meeker has announced that he’ll bring up the subject of their treatment by the police, including the Raleigh police. Meeker is questioning why the Raleigh cops got involved in Thursday’s arrests after he’d been assured that they wouldn’t. The answer may be that the Capitol cops have no ability to transport “prisoners” to the jail unless the Raleigh P.D. shows up with a transport vehicle — which it did.

Raleigh cops ringed the scene Thursday, in what seemed an unnecessary precaution against others from the Occupation force interfering with the arrests. The Raleigh cops took no direct role in making the arrests, however.

Meeker sent a memo to his fellow Council members Friday — read it here:


On the subject of whether the Morgan Street sidewalk was obstructed prior to the arrests, Joe Huberman says it wasn’t (me, too), and he supplies this picture to prove it.

If the Raleigh Council allows, even welcomes an occupation of city property, get ready for howls of disgust from right-wing Republicans … and of delight from those of us who count ourselves part of the 99%.