Riley says no to Occupy Marion Square

Posted by Paul Bowers on Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 10:52 PM

Members of Occupy Charleston are in Marion Square tonight, despite a meeting earlier today where Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. told them they could not occupy the privately owned park.

The protesters sent a letter to the mayor's office Nov. 7 notifying Riley of their intention to camp out and picket indefinitely in the downtown park, which is technically reserved for use by the Sumter Guards and the Washington Light Infantry militia group. Chris Inglese, one of three members who signed the letter, said today that he was disappointed in the outcome.


"We were told no occupation in any park throughout the city, and he referred us to the Special Event Committee," Inglese says. "Of course, our position is this isn't a special event. It's a demonstration. It's a First Amendment issue."

He says when members of Occupy Charleston offered to occupy a different park, Riley gunned down that idea too. Tonight, he says, protesters are stationed in the park, which officially closes at 11 p.m. At that point, we will see whether police enforce the rule and whether the protesters comply.

"That memo was actually less of a request for permission," Inglese says. "That memo was an announcement that Occupy Charleston has every intention to occupy Marion Square."

"I think the mayor's on the wrong side of history here," he added.

Inglese listed three components that he said were essential for a successful occupation: 1. an indefinite period of occupation, 2. the ability to assemble overnight, and 3. that the occupation occur in a location central to the city.

Occupy Columbia protesters and the S.C. Progressive Network also planned to camp out at the State House tonight in protest of Gov. Nikki Haley's crackdown on overnight camping there.

Comments (6)

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Of Course he made sure they voted for him before he shot them down. How hypocritical he's been occupying City Hall for 36 YEARS!

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Posted by mingus2011 on November 21, 2011 at 11:45 PM

This is the first time I am embarrassed to be a Native Charlestonian... Forbidding demonstrators from Occupying any park in Charleston will not make the movement go away. Correcting the corruption and inequity in our society, removing the corporate funded politicians and reducing the unemployment rate may help the Occupiers go away. This is not a political issue, but a humanitarian issue... I am dismayed that the Mayor said no yet hopeful that the Occupiers will remain at Marion Square until their rights to demonstrate will end with arrest...

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Posted by Renee J Greene on November 22, 2011 at 2:03 AM

Yes..Joe Riley is preventing something in Charleston..Destruction on Marion Square. There has not been a city yet that has been "occupied" that has not been left in ruin. Trash, Urine, sanitation, and of course the rapes and property destruction around the Occupy areas. Never mind all the city money that has been wasted in efforts to curb the destruction of public parks. Yes indeed let them protest and bring that to Marion Square. For the lady above. If you want them to be able to protest indefinitely pay THEIR bill or just sign a petition or something. If the majority of Charleston WANTS to see people in the park they will sign it. OR wait IF they wanted to see that unsightly crap the areas around the homeless shelters would be so much more popular. Wait that is a good idea.(sarcasm) Lets put a homeless shelter in the old library. That will make Charleston a much more beautiful place. Even doing that will be less visible to tourists and locals then people bitching and crying about WHAT while ruining Marion Square.

As for the whole humanitarian issue. I went around the globe protecting the freedoms and safety of others on actual humanitarian missions. Please DONT EVER compare the "I DESERVE" crowd to the people who have no food, water, shelter, yada yada because of ACTUAL repression. I challenge you. Go to the park and ask to borrow someones cellphone. They HAVE ONE. Ask them when they last had food..They had eaten recently. If it is about the repressive government..go there and see what it is ACTUALLY like to be oppressed. Too much work for you..hell lady turn on Youtube. Look up the video repressive regimes. Or try reading something like

Worlds Most Opressive Regimes 2003- A Special Report to the 59th Session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights Geneva, 2003

Start there and work to recent days.

The Occupy people do not even have a specific political view. What EXACTLY are they wanting changed? If they do not even know why the HELL should WE Charleston taxpayers pay for someone to go camping and jack up the center of the city eventually turning it into a Hooverville.

If Joe is so bad.How come he has been voted for all that time? Plenty of opportunity for change there.
I owe every American a THANK YOU. That is what VOTING does.

We Americans have no damn clue what oppression actually is... Your Welcome.

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Posted by CHS450 on November 22, 2011 at 2:48 AM

Go get jobs you freaking bums and contribute to society instead of wasting space. Bravo Riley.

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Posted by JOBS on November 22, 2011 at 7:10 AM

While I agree that people have the right to protest and demonstrate, I don't believe they have they right to occupy. Thank you Mayor Riley, for keeping these slackers in their place. Don't let Marion Square become the next center of occupied destruction.

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Posted by SEC on November 22, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Isn't it a first amendment right to crap in public?

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Posted by hooperguy on November 22, 2011 at 8:24 PM
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