A major permitted march planned against the Democratic National Convention and to call attention to “Wall Street South,” the city of Charlotte where the convention is being held, took place yesterday afternoon. It featured various contingents that included unemployed workers, undocumented immigrants, LGBTQ community members, students and antiwar activists.
A rally was held in Frazier Park just over a mile away from the Time Warner Cable Center, the site of the 2012 convention. After a lineup of speakers, a march of around eight hundred to a thousand stepped off. It was heavily policed and controlled.
The coalition that organized the march had it stop in front of a headquarters building for Bank of America. It also stopped in front of Duke Energy headquarters. The march then went by Bank of America stadium and headed back to Frazier Park where the march had originated.
In the intense heat, demonstrators marched over two miles. They greatly outnumbered the number of protesters that had been in Tampa.
There were only two arrests. Oddly, at one point, police could be seen on a bridge above the march moving frantically. Someone allegedly had been on the bridge threatening to throw a rock.
As the march neared the Cable Center, barricades penned the protest march. There was no way out. Bystanders or possibly convention attendees held up their cell phone cameras and took pictures and video of this parade of dissenters.
News organizations concluded, when all was said and done, that the march had been largely uneventful. The event was the march, however, to establishment media, dissent in its purest form is largely uninteresting if massive police forces are not about to make a sensational arrest of a group of people.
A local newspaper concluded the police had shown “force” but also “flexibility” in handling the protest and sighed in relief:
…It was the day Charlotte had talked about and planned for and dreaded for months – the March on Wall Street South, a protest bringing dozens of groups to Center City on the Sunday before the Democratic National Convention. But the three-hour march, which rolled slowly down Trade Street and back up Stonewall, went off without a major incident. In the end, the protesters had their voice, police passed a first big test, and Charlotte got its initial taste of the spectacle headed our way.
The city can exhale now – at least for a day. In some ways it would have been a surprise if Sunday’s event had exploded into disorder. Organizers had promoted it as a family friendly parade, and a similar event in Tampa went off without difficulties thanks to light attendance and a formidable police presence. In the days leading up to Charlotte’s march, however, protesters had suggested that in size at least, they would make up for Tampa. And all it takes for trouble is a handful of willful troublemakers…
Isn’t the fact that the march was entirely peaceful yesterday an indictment against the hysteria over protesters coming to Charlotte that has been whipped up by local and national media in past weeks? And the fact that occupiers are peacefully camping in Marshall Park right now—Doesn’t that show how escalated fear is completely unfounded and how they pose no more threat than people who are here in Charlotte or in hotels and apartment complexes in downtown?
Fifty million dollars was given to each of the cities that hosted the DNC and Republican National Convention. When you look at the numbers, the federal government spent around $50,000 per demonstrator. They spent over $100,000 per demonstrator in Tampa because only five hundred or less showed up to protest. That should lead people to pause for a moment to consider the obscene spending by the federal government to transform cities into totalitarian metropolises during events like the DNC.
Here are some photos from the march & rally: