Charges dropped against one Occupy Charleston protestor

The trespassing case against one Occupy Charleston protest has been dismissed.

While two cases remain against Occupy protesters who camped out on Tuesday, November 22, 2011, Justin Honea was arrested for "prohibited activities in park" on Monday, November 21 — an night when police had told protesters they could remain.

The charges against Honea were dismissed by Municipal Judge Michael Molony on Tuesday, February 28.

After the dismissal, Honea stated, "On Monday night we were told we could stay in the park by Officers from the Police Department. On Tuesday morning, the Department apparently changed its mind. I was arrested outside my home where I was going to shower and dress in preparations for speaking to Charleston City Council Tuesday night."

Below is more from a release quoting Honea after the dsimissal:

"I am happy no further punitive measures will be sought against me. I am not happy this matter was handled in the way it was. Free speech and peaceful assembly are everyone's Constitutional rights. After having been jailed for exercising these rights with some fine fellow Charlestonians, I now have significantly less faith in many of our local systems."

"As an Anthropology and Sociology student, I know every functional society must have at its core a sound, civic forum for the consideration of the issues which challenge it. The Roman Forum, fire circle of an African village or traditional American Town Square provided a continuous discussion of ideas and values in a space connected with the community. We should be working to bring more people together in our shared spaces and expand dialogue, not criminalize those attempting to revive civil discourse in our increasingly alienated and disconnected society."

"All Americans need to join a discussion about how our economy and power is being used. We must consider the increasing concentration of wealth and influence into the hands of a small minority whose everyday experience is unconnected with the lives of 99% of the people working and raising families today."

"I sincerely hope that something positive can come from this, that perspective can be gained, and that in the future everyone involved can strive to do better."

Filed in