Occupy Charlotte: Who Are They And Where Did They Come From?
CHARLOTTE, NC- Occupy Charlotte protestors have been camped out in uptown for over two months.
Most women left because of dropping temperatures, but the rest of the overnighters say they're here to stay. Fox Charlotte's Audrina Bigos finds out who these folks are... and where they came from.
They're from different cities and backgrounds, but working together to get through each day.
"Having to accommodate everyone's food allergies can be a little tough," said Dante Cheek, an Occupy Charlotte member.
29 year-old Cheek was on kitchen duty Sunday night... cooking steak and veggies for dinner.
"A nice warm meal can definitely get you through the night, get you through the day or whatever," said
Campers call Dontae the chef. He worked in the restaurant and catering business for 10 years. Now, he cooks for 50 to 70 occupiers.
From kitchen duties to security to sanitation.... occupiers say they're using what they've learned in previous jobs to help out and hold their weight in this community.
James Davis is a former clinical psychologist from Brooklyn. He left Occupy Wall Street in February.
After that, Davis worked at a frozen yogurt shop in Charlotte… but quit his job to become one of our first occupiers.
"This is going to be part of my legacy. This is... This is my story that I can tell my son," said Davis.
Davis, along with the rest of the occupiers are surviving off of donated food, suppliers and money from local businesses and supporters.
25 year-old Jason Dow is a high school drop out.
"I pretty much teach myself through the internet. I mean, I really don't see the point in going to school except for the certificate you get. You can learn anything you want on the internet," said Dow.
He held a factory job in Statesville for two years, but considers himself a self-employed handyman. Dow helps out with the camp's repairs and also works on the website.
No matter their backgrounds, the occupiers say they're all part of one family now.
"That's what's so great about this movement. You can come together regardless or politics, race, religion... and agree that we do need change," said Dow.
The Charlotte Occupiers say they don't want free-loaders. Strict new policies say if you don't do your part by cleaning, cooking, or protesting... you've got to go.
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