by Bob Geary
Margaret Schucker, the disabled Occupy Raleigh participant arrested at the State Capitol October 27 for sitting in her chair on the sidewalk, was in a Wake County courtroom this morning expecting her case to be heard. It wasn't. According to her lawyers, the prosecution didn't intend the case to be tried today and scheduled it instead for Jan. 10.
Schucker was charged with second-degree trespass when she refused to get up from her little folding chair after the Capitol Police ordered all of the OR demonstrators to get their stuff off the sidewalk. The demonstrators were told they could stay but their stuff — food, signs, chairs, bed rolls — had to go.
Schucker didn't consider her chair to be "stuff," but rather a necessity — given her very bad back — for her to be able to stay and exercise her First Amendment rights.
Katy Parker, legal director of the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, was in court with Schucker today. Parker (see this ACLU statement) is co-counsel on Schucker's case along with Durham attorney Scott Holmes.
At least one other of the eight Occupy Raleigh folks who were arrested that day was also in court this morning. Katina Gad said she'd been notified to be in a different courtroom at
12 noon anytime between 7:45 a.m. and 3 p.m. So Gad was surprised, when she arrived to support Schucker, to see both of their names on the 9 a.m. list for Courtroom 2C. Gad's case was also put off until Jan. 10. Gad (shown next to Schucker in the picture below) was among the demonstrators who sat down with Schucker in a show of solidarity as the Capitol Police were preparing to arrest her. Gad's lawyer is Raleigh attorney Steve Edelstein.