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Forum Post: Democratic National Convention Host Charlotte Proposes Law Aimed At Banning Occupy Encampments

Posted 10 years ago on Dec. 9, 2011, 6:22 p.m. EST by newearthorder (295)
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- When the Democratic National Committee picked Charlotte to host its September 2012 convention, city leaders saw it as a boost to the local service economy. Hotels would be filled, restaurants would be booked, and party spaces would be rented. Up until a few months ago, officials only had to worry about the would-be traffic congestion on Trade Street as lobbyists shuffled to the next cocktail party. But now, they have to be concerned about feistier visitors known as Occupy Wall Street.

If Charlotte officials fear having another Chicago '68 on their hands, they're hoping to take one essential weapon out of the hands of activists: their tents. On Oct. 27, the Charlotte city manager released a draft ordinance that makes camping on public property a "public nuisance" and would prohibit "noxious substances," padlocks and other camping equipment that city officials fear could impede traffic and create public safety issues.

The Charlotte City Council has not yet voted on the ordinance, and some argue its language is vague and may violate First Amendment rights. "If the ordinance is passed, it is possible that its constitutionality will be challenged," wrote Isaac Sturgill, director of the Charlotte School of Law chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, in an editorial that will run in the Charlotte alternative weekly Creative Loafing on Dec. 13. "There is also the potential for increased confrontation between protesters and police."



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[-] 1 points by southernwoman (12) from Trussville, AL 10 years ago

Pretty ironic.....the democratic convention???? HA!

[-] 0 points by newearthorder (295) 10 years ago

Here is a link for a search about the rioting and other disturbing things that happened at the 1968 Democratic Convention.


Also see: 'The Chicago Seven'.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 10 years ago

This looks important. Thanks for the post.

[-] 1 points by mserfas (652) from Ashland, PA 10 years ago

How can they ban padlocks where there are bicycle racks?

I don't know their situation, but from this I fear that the few days of the convention may have a decades-long effect of criminalizing the city's homeless. If a significant number of homeless people come to be jailed under such ordinances, they may be alienated, recruited into criminal communities, thus leading to more hostile relations. And since capitalism as we know it in this country can't seem to survive without a few object lessons, there must always be a few homeless in the city, no matter how many have been incarcerated. It sounds like, despite its apparent focus, the ordinance could become a recipe to destabilize and impoverish the entire city.

[-] 0 points by newearthorder (295) 10 years ago

I hope they get some lawyers or the ACLU on this.

I hope a million of us show up there.

[-] 1 points by kadob (2) 10 years ago