CHARLOTTE -- Laurel Green of Charlotte was defiant to the end.

Sitting inside a tent where she had been camping for months, she waited Monday afternoon for Charlotte-Mecklenburg police to arrive. When they did, she was arrested.

"I'm scared, but sometimes you have to take a stand," she said as dozens of police officers searched tents pitched on the lawn of the old City Hall -- where Occupy Charlotte had been camped since October.

"I'm disheartened by the city's response. All we're trying to do is exercise our rights … and talk to people about the issues. And this is what happens."

Green was one of seven people arrested on a misdemeanor charge of resist, obstruct and delay as officers broke up the Occupy Charlotte tent city, which is across the street from police headquarters.

The move comes one week after a city ordinance was adopted restricting political demonstrations ahead of this year's Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

The new rules approved by the City Council give police more power to stop and search people when the convention comes to town in September.

But a major part of the ordinance outlaws camping overnight on city property.

Police Chief Rodney Monroe had warned Occupy Charlotte that the city would take action Monday -- the day the ordinance took effect.

In the morning, Capt. Jeff Estes warned protesters they needed to remove tents from the property by 2:30 p.m.

"If any temporary shelters are not removed by then … the city will remove them," he told dozens of group members.

Estes told protesters they were welcome to remain at the site -- but without the tents.

But some activists were angry and shouted "Evict us and we'll multiply" as police officers searched more than 20 remaining tents. If no one was inside, police dragged the tent and the property inside to the curb where it was dumped in waiting sanitation trucks.

If someone was inside and refused to leave -- like Green -- they were arrested.

"No one will be arrested unless they interfere," Estes said.

Green, who designs software and is an artist, ran what she called an "art therapy" tent. Inside were crayons, paint and a whiteboard for which members of Occupy Charlotte could make posters. She was quiet as police handcuffed her and led her away.

But the crowd cheered her and expressed their anger toward police. "Shame," they shouted.

Yen Alcala, a leader of the group, said he understands why some people were willing to be arrested. "This is about democracy," he said. "We're standing up for their rights."

Another protester, Robbie Hodge, 43, said he was disappointed in the way the city was handling things.

The general contractor said he's worried enforcement of the ordinance might extend to homeless people who might have a sleeping bag or a tent. He thinks the move is an attempt to "clean up the streets" before the Democratic National Convention this summer.

It took about an hour, but after the lawn was cleared of tents and debris, Monroe praised his officers.

"It was a long day," he said.

Authorities said police showed restraint in dealing with the vocal activists.

But he said he couldn't answer one question: If people under the new ordinance are allowed to pitch tents during the day, why was the Occupy Charlotte property confiscated?

Monroe said that will be an issue for the courts to decide.

Activists and civil rights groups said they'll be watching what happens next.

Katherine Parker, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, has said the law gives too much discretion to police. She said they would watch to see how the new law is applied.

An Occupy Charlotte attorney tried to obtain a restraining order to stop the law, but couldn't get a Mecklenburg Superior Court judge to hear the case because the docket was full. So police went ahead and implemented the ordinance.

Alcala said even without the tents, the movement will continue.