State to Occupy Raleigh: You can’t protest here (with letter)
The N.C. Department of Administration turned down a request from Occupy Raleigh to demonstrate on the state capital grounds in downtown Raleigh.
The decision, made Friday afternoon, leaves the group only able to use the sidewalk in front of the state-owned property, as they had been doing since 19 of its supporters were arrested last Saturday following a rally on the state property.
Nick Woomers-Deter, an attorney that’s been trying to work with the staff on behalf of Occupy Raleigh, said the agency was unwilling to let Occupy Raleigh protesters meet on state property for more than four hours.
“This is incredibly disrespectful to the people that have been sitting out there in rain and shine for almost a week,” Woomers-Deter said. “They deserve better from their state government.”
The two-sentence denial letter from Tony Jordan of the Facility Management Division does not go into detail about why the state is not allowing the protest, other than to say the permit application didn’t adhere to proper policies because it would last eight days. Click here to the letter from the N.C. Department of Administration and the original permit.
“Thank you for your correspondence and proposed amended application for use of the Capitol grounds. Your amended application is not in accordance with the policies found on the application form (for instance, you request appears to be for a continuous gathering over eight days) and is not approved, though you may resubmit it in accordance with policy and, if so, it will be considered in a timely manner.”
Patty McQuillan, a spokeswoman for the state administrative department, said the decision was made factoring in the cost of having law enforcement present as well as the space already being used by other groups over the weekend. A photography class from Wake Technical College had applied for a permit to use the space on Saturday, McQuillan said.