CHARLOTTE – The Occupy Charlotte site in front of old City Hall is free of tents and some protestors are behind bars. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police gave a 2:30 p.m. Monday deadline for the protestors to move their campsite to comply with new city rules.
At that time, police offered their final warning as camping on city property was now illegal under a new ordinance. Soon after, dozens of men and women in blue began scanning the Occupy Charlotte campsite, using dogs and getting an earful from protesters.
"Kiss your rights goodbye. Kiss your rights goodbye," they chanted.
Dozens of tents were broken down and thrown away by police as tension from some of the protesters intensified. Some refused to leave and paid the price. CMPD arrested seven people who didn't leave their tents when ordered.
The men and women will be charged with resist, obstruct and delay of a law enforcement officer -- a misdemeanor.
"While we understand that there may be people who disapprove and disagree with the ordinance, we believe the process in this case was a good one," said CMPD Capt. Jeff Estes.
Although protesters also briefly blocked East Trade Street, officers said the campsite eviction went smoothly with voluntary compliance from nearly every Occupy Charlotte member.
"Of course, as it has always been , the Occupy Charlotte people are still free. In fact, anyone is free to protest on that site, just not with the temporary shelters as prohibited by the ordinance," Estes said.
Click here to see how the eviction was covered on social media.