RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Occupiers are on the move again .They've been camped out for about a month at a newspaper editor's front lawn. Tuesday, they were breaking down their tents and, getting ready for the next phase of their movement.
After numerous complaints from neighbors and a constant police presence, occupiers say it's time to move on.
"If we don't win hearts and minds, we won't get our movement across," said Occupier, Harry Hancock.
They haven't said exactly what they're going to do next, but a press release states they plan to serve in the community and hold education forums. Richmond Free Press Editor, Raymond Boone, supports the decision the Occupy Richmond General Assembly voted on Sunday.
"I think they will continue the education process of not letting the government forget Richmond is the capitol of poverty in Virginia," said Boone.
That's why occupiers say they'd also like to reach out to urban areas in the city.
"Even if it doesn't go to a national change in policy, getting the conversation started is just as important to me," Hancock noted.
Occupiers say the constant police presence is unnecessary, but the department says it's watching out for the mayor's home as well as the occupiers' safety. Since November 15, when the occupiers set up, it has cost the police department more than $40,000 to have officers out here. That doesn't include the incident at Kanawha Plaza.
"Honestly I think it's a waste of taxpayers' money," Hancock added. "We are having a peaceful protest. The idea that we are going to be rebel rousing or violating his property is absurd."
We saw the mayor arrive at his home and quickly leave, without talking to any of the occupiers. Boone says he received a petition with about 45 signatures asking him to no longer allow the occupiers to camp out at his home.
The men and women say they will take a break for three weeks and then continue on with their next phase.