Occupy takes up shop next to Mayor's home - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Occupy takes up shop next to Mayor's home

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Occupy Richmond is now just a stones throw away from Mayor Dwight Jones. The group is now occupying the front lawn of the Richmond Free Press Editor Raymond Boone.

We first told you about Boone's editorial in his paper last week, inviting the group to his front lawn if the Mayor wouldn't allow them on his front lawn.

Tonight, there were about 75 or so protesters on his lawn. The mayor has gone in and out of his home, but as of tonight, there has been no sign of the mayor on Boone's lawn.

The police were out in numbers this afternoon and actually have put up orange barrels out so that no one can park on the public road leading up to Boone's home. That's because, the police say, of complaints from the neighbors in the area.

The tents and port-a-potties lined up.

"It's a pleasure and joy to welcome you to our home," Raymond Boone told the group, around 2 Tuesday afternoon.  

Occupy Richmond is now firmly set up on the front lawn of Free Press editor Raymond Boone. That's right next to the home of Mayor Dwight Jones.

Jean Boone found out about her husband's offer, in the paper. "I said, oh my God. This isn't going to happen and went on my merry way."

It did happen and she's okay with that. It's an unprecedented move, causing quite a stir. Even the Richmond Police Chief was here.

"We are here to make sure the neighbors concerns are addressed and that the protesters are being well respected as well," said Chief Bryan Norwood.  

Amelia Lightner is the neighborhood association president. She says everyone she's talked with today, is against this.

"Would you want them to invade your community and cause traffic, in your community?" she asked.

That's something police are addressing tonight, even putting up several orange barrels so no one can park in the area.

Now police are looking to see if occupiers are breaking any zoning laws and making sure the group isn't too noisy at night.

"But for now it looks like they are in compliance with the law," added Norwood.  

Now-- this group is just hoping the mayor will take the short walk over, across his driveway.

"Come on out! Express your grievances. It's all about talking," said one Occupy Protester.  

The neighborhood association tells us there will be a meeting on Thursday evening to discuss what is going on at Boone's home.

Also, the police tell us they will be out patrolling the area as long as the protesters are on Boone's lawn.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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