The department has been criticized for its use of forceful tactics to break up the gathering last Sunday.
Jose Hernandez, who was holding a sign that read “CHPD: Defy Unjust Orders Now,” said the group protesting outside the courthouse was there to support the seven defendants.
“We’re protesting the unnecessary use of force by the Chapel Hill Police against the people inside,” Hernandez said.
Judge Lunsford Long also lifted the defendants’ restriction from being on Franklin Street, which was put in place after the raid Sunday.
The new order bans the defendant’s presence within 50 feet of the former Yates building, with the exception that they can drive by in a motor vehicle.
The Thursday night walk, which lasted about 30 minutes, was monitored by at least four police escorts who helped stop traffic.
Though many came out to support the defendants, some Occupy Chapel Hill members say the arrests have created internal dissent among those who wanted to keep the protests peaceful and legal.
During a Sunday night march protesting the police raid and arrests that day, members chanted criticisms of law enforcement.
But similar chants were quickly hushed in Thursday’s march. The group of occupiers also collectively agreed to not destroy public property.
Heather Epes, a Carrboro resident, said the raid and arrests on Sunday gave the group a chance to reevaluate their goals and tactics.
“We had this very jarring thing happen,” she said. “We’ve had a chance to take a big breath.”
She said she will still support the occupation.
“In some ways, I feel I have been occupying my whole life,” she said.
And many Occupy Chapel Hill members say the police controversy has increased community support.
Cammie Bellamy, a sophomore journalism major, who said she has been involved with Occupy Chapel Hill since protesters began occupying the Peace and Justice Plaza in Chapel Hill on Oct. 15, said the movement has inspired her.
“I think this is the biggest, most visible movement of my lifetime,” she said.
Staff Writer Conor Furlong contributed to reporting.
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