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Communities follow Charlotte camping crackdown

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CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) -- At least nine cities or counties have approved resolutions to crack down on camping on public property after rules that Charlotte implemented ahead of the Democratic National Convention.

The Charlotte Observer reported Matthews and Mint Hill approved bans last week.

Union County did the same thing earlier this month. Sheriff Eddie Cathey proposed the plan, citing the Occupy Charlotte protests. County attorney Jeff Crook says the ordinance is almost identical to the one in Charlotte.

Commissioners said they did not want a repeat of last year's Occupy Charlotte activity.

Commissioner Jonathan Thomas said the protests create problems for public health, safety and welfare.

Chris Brook with the American Civil Liberties Union in North Carolina says local officials should not to use ordinances to hamper free speech.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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