Thursday was an eventful day for the North Carolina Occupy movement. In Raleigh, eight occupiers were arrested after police ordered the group to move. In Charlotte, things are getting more organized, legally.
It's unclear how police chose the eight occupiers in Raleigh who were arrested, since not all of them were. One, Katina Gad, tweeted last night that she still wasn't sure why she was arrested. She then added in a tweet that she didn't blame the police: "I forgive them, they're only doing a job that supports them & their family. A job they're scared to lose." Soon after, she signed off to catch up on her homework.
According to the News & Observer:
State Capitol Police told a dozen or so Occupy Raleigh demonstrators that they had until 3 p.m. to move all their camp chairs, tables, and coolers off the sidewalk.
But the conflict came when police asked a woman who was sitting in a chair on the sidewalk to move. The woman said she had back problems and needed the chair to participate in the Occupy Raleigh demonstration. When police moved to arrest her, other demonstrators joined her and were arrested, too.
Read the entire article here.
Watch a video of the arrests:
Meanwhile in Charlotte, occupiers took a few organizational steps forward. Dawn Simone, a member of the group's fundraising committee, said she and another occupier opened a bank account at Charlotte Metro Federal Credit Union. They acquired a tax identification number about week ago with the help of their attorney, Ken Davies.
She declined to say exactly how much money was deposited into the account, adding that an accounting of the group's deposits and expenditures would be available on their new website, which is expected to go live any day now.
The credit union requires a minimum of $25 to open a basic account.
After speaking with Simone, I transcribed the group's donation journal. It's kept at the camp site's information desk. The donations listed in the journal include the name of the donor, two occupiers' initials and the amount donated. The donations range from $1 to $100. The pages in the current journal are dated from Oct. 21 through Oct. 27 and the listed donations total $385.
It's unclear how much money was raised before Oct. 21, though an estimated $360 in donations were made to the group through a disputed WePay account on their former website. Tom Shope, whom the group ousted last week, said that, after fees, he withdrew $294 from the WePay account, and that every penny went toward expenses which he can substantiate. In fact, Shope said he has incurred roughly $480 in expenses, and he produced a manilla envelope labeled "Occupy" that was stuffed with receipts.
Shope said Thursday that he had not set up a bank account for the occupiers, though he had registered the name. "I did reserve the name to protect us," he said.
Simone said Davies, who is working pro bono, helped the group file as an unincorporated association on Thursday.
Since Shope was ousted, occupiers decided that every expenditure made by the group must be voted on. "Direct democracy is slow and painful sometimes," Simone said, "but after what we had been through, we wanted everything to go through the General Assembly." She added that she hopes a committee can be formed to vote on smaller, more immediate expenditures.
The group expelled Shope on Oct. 19 after many days of deliberation and debate, according to their meeting notes. They were concerned that he had opened a WePay account without their knowledge in addition to making other decisions without the consensus of the group. Read the "Declaration of Expulsion" here.
Shope is expected to appear in court Monday regarding a restraining order taken out by Henry Knox Garmany IV. There are allegations of threats having been made on both sides.
In other Occupy Charlotte organizational news, the group published a calendar Thursday night. View it here.