Occupy protestors vow to fight on, challenge ordinance in court

Occupy protestors vow to fight on, challenge ordinance in court

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by TONY BURBECK / NewsChannel 36 Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on January 31, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 31 at 7:02 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Occupy Charlotte protestors vow to fight on and take the battle to court after police enforced a new ordinance which bans camping from city property.

A hearing for a temporary injunction against the ordinance was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon but cancelled so protestors and their attorney could have more time to work on their case.

The sign at the Occupy Charlotte movement location on Trade Street says "We are still here & still strong."

About six protestors now sit on chairs instead of resting in tents.

One woman stopped her car in the middle of the block Tuesday to offer words of encouragement as well as coats to keep protesters warm.

At the only tent remaining, sanctioned by police because it's for information and first aid, was protestor Don Faix.

Given Monday's melee where police took tents down and arrested seven people while enforcing a new city ordinance, what's next now that the Occupy home base is basically barren?

"I would imagine this will be a test of true grit of this movement,” Faix said.  "I'm here today and I will be here tomorrow."

Faix plans to be in court when protesters fight city hall and ask a judge to halt the new ordinance by claiming they're not a public nuisance, camping is integral to their message and protected by the First Amendment.

"Camping is deemed a public nuisance, so from my point of view that's a very in-depth definition,” Faix said.

Protestors say some safety issues have come up here, but they repeatedly asked police the best way to abide by all city rules.

Then, the city changed the rules because the Democratic National Convention is coming.

Speaking of the DNC, protestors say they're organizing a large, non-violent march with people all over the country coming to Charlotte.

"We are beginning to get organized about the DNC,” said Faix. 

The city attorney's office is confident the new ordinance will remain enforced as written because similar lawsuits filed in other cities have not held up in court.
 

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