November 28, 2011

Police arrest nine at Blaine House protest

Occupy members in Augusta decry orders to end encampment, yet still remove tents

By SUSAN McMILLAN Kennebec Journal

(Continued from page 1)

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Protesters are arrested Sunday on the lawn of the Blaine House during a rally by Occupy Augusta. Police said nine people were charged with criminal trespass and failure to disperse after refusing to leave the lawn of the governor's mansion.

Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

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Occupy Augusta protesters hoist a flag embroidered with 99%, as well as an American flag, Sunday at the Blaine House.

Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

"We are disappointed that some protesters decided to take this action," he said. "The Capitol Police and Occupy had had a very cordial working relationship."

Freeman and other Occupy Augusta members planned to meet with Gauvin this morning.

Gov. Paul LePage was not in Augusta on Sunday, according to his spokeswoman, Adrienne Bennett.

At the mansion, protesters held signs with slogans such as "This movement can't be evicted," "Speech is free -- no permit needed!" and "Shutting us down will not shut us up!"

Some protesters came from many miles away to support Occupy Augusta's right to use Capitol Park and the causes motivating the larger Occupy movement.

Don Merchant said he and his wife, Sally, came from Rockland to protest "the corporate greed that's running everything -- all the money and all the power."

Appleton resident Phil Sheridan said the federal government needs to reinstate the New Deal-era Glass-Steagall Act, which regulated banks until its repeal in 1999.

"I'm here to make a show against corporate power," he said.

In the encampment earlier, Matt Bailey, 20, of Jefferson said he was disappointed as he took down the tent he's been staying in for about a week.

"It's been a nonviolent, peaceful protest. I think it's wrong to shut us down," Bailey said before the protest led to arrests. "But it made us a lot stronger, too."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Susan McMillan can be contacted at 621-5645 or at:

smcmillan@mainetoday.com

 

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