Occupy Charlotte, along with members of other Occupy groups from around the country, has established an encampment in Marshall Park in Uptown Charlotte. According to Occupiers, the City and the police have unofficially consented to letting the encampment remain during the DNC in spite of the DNC Ordinances, which ban tents and camping on city property. The police requested only that the Occupiers respect the park.
The encampment is small right now, about 10-15 tents, but it is growing and will likely continue to do so in the coming days. Members of Occupy Wallstreet arrived from Tampa late last night and joined the camp. This is the first time Occupiers have been allowed back on city property with their tents since Occupy Charlotte was evicted in January.
Police presence at the park was light Saturday morning with no more than a couple police cars in a nearby parking lot.
UPDATE: A Charlotte Observer article includes this statement from Amanda Giannini, a police spokesperson: “City and County Officials have not given permission to camp in any parks. Local law enforcement is assessing the situation and will evaluate enforcement options to ensure public safety. The City’s intent is to have a peaceful and successful convention.”
UPDATE 2: It appears that portable toilets have been set up at Marshall Park. Why is this noteworthy? During the initial Occupy Charlotte occupation that ended in January of this year, the City refused to permit the Occupiers to set up portable toilets on the lawn, and reportedly asked nearby private landowners to follow suit. The appearance of portable toilets at Marshall Park could be another sign that the City is willing to let the Occupy Movement maintain a presence on the Marshall Park lawn throughout the DNC.