You are hereRichmond Times-Dispatch: Occupy Richmond protesters discuss next steps

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Occupy Richmond protesters discuss next steps

October 31, 2011- At a gathering at Monroe Park this afternoon, dozens of Occupy Richmond protestors discussed their next steps but ultimately decided only to reconvene at 7 p.m. tonight at the compass area near the library on VCU's Monroe Campus.

Some in the group urged against trying to return to Kanahwa Plaza, but others said it's time to stop negotiating with police and the city government in the wake of the arrests early Monday. 

"We need to go back to Kanawha Plaza and take it back," one protestor said. "Call the mayor and call the people who have the power to let my people go, in the words of Moses."

Another protester recited phone numbers for various officials and offices, including the police chief, the mayor's office and Rep. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott, D-3rd.

"We don't ever want to deal with Cantor," she said, referring to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-7th.

Thomas Darron, a VCU junior, said he was among those arrested early Monday when he attempted to re-enter Kanawha Plaza after police had ordered it vacated. He said he was intending "to show solidarity for my friends" and was released after being issued a citation for being in the park after hours.

"Yes, I was breaking the law, and that's the end of that," Darron said, comparing his actions to those arrested in sit-ins during the civil rights movement. "With the strength of my conviction, I stood and walked."

From earlier reports

Nine people were taken into custody this morning when Richmond and Virginia State Police broke up an encampment of Occupy Richmond protesters who had been living at Kanawha Plaza downtown since Oct. 15.

The operation occurred about 1 a.m. when officers went to the public park near Ninth and Canal streets and gave the protesters a chance to leave. Many did; those who did not were taken into custody.

Richmond police spokesman Gene Lepley said nine people were detained on charges of trespassing and/or obstruction of justice. Four were given summonses; the other five were taken into custody, Lepley said.

Police did not use force and there were no injuries, putting the shutdown of the Richmond operation in contrast to those in some other cities where people have gathered to protest what they view as inequities on Wall Street.

After the park was cleared, Richmond Department of Public Works crews came in with bulldozers and began clearing the debris left behind and stringing yellow police tape around a perimeter marked by traffic barrels.



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