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Occupy Charlotte Infighting

Thomas Shope, the former organizer of the protest, wrote a letter last week to the mayor and city manager warning that the demonstration has been infiltrated by a group that could cause "disruption and destruction." The schism in the Occupy Charlotte movement has widened according to this report in the Charlotte Business Journal. The Charlotte Business Journal's Susan Stabley reports Thomas Shope, the former organizer of the protest, wrote a letter last week to the mayor and city manager warning that the demonstration has been infiltrated by a group that could cause "disruption and destruction." "What exists now is forming up to be a vigilante group with very little structure or organization and in my opinion a dangerous element," he wrote in the letter dated October 24. Shope labeled the occupiers of Occupy Charlotte as a group called Anonymous North Carolina (ANC). "They are taking this protest in a direction we can't condone or be comfortable with. I don't want anyone using the peaceful protest as an excuse to attack our police or cause disruption and destruction to Charlotte ." Shope was exiled from the protest on October 20. Per an Occupy Charlotte's Facebook posting that day, the reason was, "due to his consistent and willful actions against the will of the people and the decisions of the General Assembly." Group demonstrators have been camping on the front lawn of old City Hall since October 10. They may soon be dispersed, however. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department is drafting a city ordinance prohibiting camping on all public property owned by the city, "except as may be specifically authorized by the City Manager or his or her delegate. According to the city, the new ordinance is part of the planning for the Democratic National Convention.