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Forum Post: Protest Groups Frustrated With City/County Plans For DNC

Posted 10 years ago on April 16, 2012, 12:13 p.m. EST by geo (2638) from Concord, NC
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Julie Rose Friday April 13, 2012

Activist groups are frustrated with the City of Charlotte for providing too little information about protest opportunities Uptown during the Democratic National Convention.

City officials say groups need to be patient. The County now says Uptown parks will not be an option for large groups.

Political conventions - Democratic and Republican - always draw protestors. The City of Charlotte has put all protest and special event permits on hold for the Uptown area while it prepares an application process for marches and rallies during the DNC.

"They've been saying that for seven months," says Elena Everett, with Occupy Durham which is part of a group calling itself the Coalition to Protest at the DNC.

In the meantime, Everett says the city has moved ahead with "other processes that are restricting our ability to protest."

For example, she points to new city prohibitions against camping on city property and carrying certain items, including backpacks, during large protests.

A spokeswoman for the city says protest and parade permits during the DNC will be issued through an online lottery starting in June. Groups will know their assigned protest times in July or August.

"That's insufficient," says Everett. "We're planning on bringing thousands of people in. We need our own time and space to be able to make our own accommodations; to make sure people feel safe; to make sure people know that it's a peaceful demonstration."

Everett says the Coalition to Protest at the DNC hopes for at least 10,000 people to rally at Marshall Park the weekend before the convention and march through Uptown.

But Marshall Park will likely not be an option. The County Manager's office released a statement saying special event permits for large groups will not be granted in any County park during or just before the DNC because off-duty police officers will not be available to provide security.

Coalition member Larry Holmes, an organizer of the Occupy 4 Jobs Network in New York says, the protests will go on, regardless of city and county restrictions.

"No matter what barriers are put in front of us - if they have to arrest ten thousands of us, if we have to fill the jails of Charlotte and other places in North Carolina - we will be here!" shouted Holmes at a Coalition press conference in front of Bank of America stadium Friday afternoon. "We'll be at the DNC - and we'll be at the (Republican National Convention) before that - fighting in the tradition of civil rights, anti-war and labor rights."

The Coalition to Protest at the DNC includes 45 labor, civil rights, peace and Occupy Wall Street groups. Their National Organizing Conference is Saturday at the Charlotte School of Law.




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[-] 2 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 10 years ago

"The Coalition to Protest at the DNC has made multiple attempts to obtain permits for parks and a parade during the convention. City of Charlotte representatives have responded that all parks are reserved for the DNC..."


All parks reserved for the DNC? Are the delegates going to plan picnics in the city parks?

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 10 years ago

Yeah, I'll guess that there will be scant delegates picnicking in the parks. What a crock, eh? And I'm sure that 'on-line lottery' will be honest and above-board as well.

Bravo to Larry Holmes for standing up for what's right!

[-] 2 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 10 years ago

One good thing about Charlotte is that the Police here have been a great deal more civil than in other cities. None have donned riot gear or body armor, even during the dismantling of the Occupy tents when the new city laws were passed just to keep occupiers out.

However, with the DNC coming to town and Charlotte being thrust into the national spotlight, I feel the amity is going to change rapidly.

As of now the city is working hard to stifle our 1st Amendment rights to voice our grievances publicly. OWS groups everywhere should pay attention to what is happening in Charlotte as the battle lines are literally being drawn as we speak.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 9 years ago

this is a good post. Combine it with mine about the RNC and you have a perfect picture of our gov.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 9 years ago

Free Speech and the Right to Assembly have been effectively stifled.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 9 years ago