November 10, 2011
At approximately 6:30 AM, at the end of handoff for a security shift, the Norfolk Police Department showed up and informed us that we would have three hours to gather our belongings and vacate the premises of our camp. We were told that anyone in the boundaries of the plaza would be facing arrest.
The day before, members of the group had a meeting about renewing our permit, and were not informed that we would be asked to leave soon. Everything seemed kosher, but that was obviously not the case. We have been willing to work peacefully with the city, and have complied with every single request that has come to the table, and this is how they treat us?
By the time the camp had woken up, they had begun to cordon off the camp, preventing anyone from entering and obtaining their personal property. There were police in riot gear and apparently, the media knew 24 hours before we were evicted, but they give us a 3 hour notice? How absurd.
We have had numerous people donate equipment, and if you have, they are apparently holding property for the next thirty days. You may need to contact the city or police in order to retrieve anything you have lent us. We would have gotten everything out, but three hours is not enough.
This timeframe they provided us was absurd and impossible to work with given the amount of personal property. We have worked with the city and local police every step of the way and as a reward, we got police in riot gear. Currently, they are still camped out keeping a watch on us to make sure we don’t pitch tents.
This is where we need your help. Please call the City Manager’s Office and the Mayor’s Office and let them know that the whole world is watching this movement across the globe and that you want us to be able to continue. Let them know that the voice of the people will never be silenced. We have been peaceful. We have been compliant. We need your help.
Phone numbers (retrieved via phonebook and the city’s online sites):
Mayor’s Office: 757-664-4679
City Manager’s Office: 757-644-4242
Complaint Line: 757-664-6510