Official response from Occupy Chapel Hill/Carrboro to Sunday's police action

This press release was issued today...

The General Assembly of Occupy Chapel Hill/Carrboro, meeting at Peace and Justice Plaza, expresses outrage and disappointment at the disproportionate and disturbing use of force by the Chapel Hill Police Department.

Officers pointing automatic weapons at the heads and bodies of unarmed and peaceful individuals as they did on Sunday afternoon -- without issuing any prior warning -- raises serious questions about who they are meant to serve and protect.  "I'd say I'm not so much angry, as disappointed to have witnessed assault rifles used aggressively and indiscriminately on unarmed protesters and onlookers alike in our fair town of Chapel Hill. It ain't right. It just ain't right." Sonia Katchian, Chapel Hill resident. We feel the CHPD has created an artificial sense of fear and uncertainty for many Chapel Hill/Carrboro residents as a result.

“Seeing police pointing machine guns at unarmed protestors, next to a public bus ready to carry them away, and plastered with a Wells Fargo billboard was really ironic. It really makes you think about the kind of democracy we have,” said Carrboro Alderman Sammy Slade.
 
The General Assembly thanks the occupants of the Yates building for their clear statements explaining that this was not an action of the Occupy Chapel Hill General Assembly at Peace and Justice Plaza. We also want to express appreciation to the various local media for their accuracy in reporting this important fact.  As stated publicly Sunday afternoon prior to the police action and arrests, this action was neither discussed nor authorized by our General Assembly.  It was an autonomous action by a group of people, many of whom do nevertheless identify as part of the larger Occupy Wall Street Movement -- an international movement with occupations now in numerous countries around the world.

“This movement is about revealing and addressing real problems in our economic and political system," said Michal Osterweil, lecturer at UNC Chapel Hill,  "whether or not you agree with the tactics, we must recognize that it opens up a crucial conversation about access to property and who violence is reserved for.”

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