State Capitol Police arrest Margaret Schucker of Raleigh, one of eight people arrested from the Occupy Raleigh movement, on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011, at the State Capital grounds in Raleigh. Photo by Robert Willett - email@example.com
Police arrested at least eight people involved in the Occupy Raleigh demonstration after they refused to leave a sidewalk in front of the State Capitol this afternoon.
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, Margaret Schucker of Raleigh, 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.
Demonstrators in sympathy with Occupy Wall Street in New York have maintained a presence outside the old State Capitol since Oct. 15. They were sitting along a fence on Morgan Street that separates the sidewalk from the Capitol grounds.
The fence was festooned with posters and blankets. Police said told demonstrators to move those fence hangings, too.
The state Department of Administration said in a statement that it asked police to have occupiers remove their property and signs, but that the people were not being asked to leave.
Boxes, chairs and other items made it difficult for others to use the sidewalk, the statement said.