Occupy Raleigh camp closes, but movement stays strong
Updated: 05/07/2012 02:11 PM
By: Julie Fertig
RALEIGH-- Occupy Raleigh members shut down their downtown base camp, but the group is not stopping its mission to restore economic justice. This week, Occupy members are cleaning up the spot that had been their home for the past six months.
A shadow of its former self, only a few tents and massive pile of rubble occupy the Raleigh base camp. Roger Ehrlich said shutting down camp will help the group restore its initial efforts.
"I know that a lot of energy was put into maintaining the camp, when really the issue is about engaging with the issues," said Ehrlich, a Raleigh occupier.
Some other North Carolina occupy camps have also broken down. Political analyst David McLennan said the movement does not need a visible site to continue spreading a strong message.
"They have brought to a lot of people's attention income disparity,” said McLennan. “The difference between the high wage earners and the low wage earners in society. And so a lot of people have talked about it. That's kind of made its way into mainstream politics."
Occupiers are still taking action. Many plan to gather in Charlotte later this week to protest against Bank of America.
"Try to make financial institutions work for people as opposed to just working for Wall Street," said Peter Grear, a Wilmington occupier.
For occupiers like Ehrlich, the movement is not about camping out, but remaining committed to the cause.
"I think we've re-sparked hope in many people," he said.
The Raleigh camp sits on private property. The owner said he's willing to give the occupiers until the end of the week to get it cleaned up. Raleigh occupiers are planning to clean up and beautify their old base camp this Saturday at 10 a.m.
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