Charlotte conference plans protests at Democratic National Convention
Charlotte, NC – Over 60 activists converged here, April 14, holding a conference at the Charlotte School of Law to discuss the upcoming week of protest at the Democratic National Convention (DNC). Charlotte, a prominent center of banking, will be hosting the convention where Democratic Party elites and delegates will establish the party platform and select Barack Obama as their candidate for President of the United States. The DNC will be held Sept. 3-6.
Conference attendees traveled from all over the country to help plan the activities which are expected to include a “March on the Wall Street of the South,” among other events. So far over 50 organizations have endorsed the protests, and the number is steadily growing.
Also attending the conference were a group of activists from Florida from the Coalition to March on the RNC who are preparing to protest the Republican National Convention which will be held in Tampa, Florida, Aug. 27-30. Mutual support and goodwill was shared between the two coalitions planning the DNC and RNC protests.
The protests at the DNC are making use of the Charlotte Principles, a set of guidelines that will help the diverse and growing number of groups planning activities to work positively and powerfully together.
Conference attendee Sarah Buchner of Asheville, North Carolina, from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression said, “I believe we accomplished a lot here today. The fight for the permit to march is important and there are issues surrounding new city new ordinances and expected police repression. There is a lot of work left to do, but everyone is excited and determined.”
The city council of Charlotte recently passed a long and vague ordinance, obviously meant to curtail freedom of speech and assembly during the DNC. It allows the city manager to unilaterally declare an “extraordinary event” in a given area of the city. This will ban a startling array of objects like water bottles, backpacks, bicycle helmets and various lengths of string and wire. It will give police sweeping abilities to search and detain protesters, observers and neutral passers-by. Legal challenges are already in the works but it is expected that the ordinance will stand through the DNC.
Demands for the DNC protests include: Good jobs for all! Economic justice now – make the banks and corporations pay for their crisis! Money for education, healthcare, housing and all human needs, not for war and incarceration! Justice for immigrants and all oppressed peoples! Stop the raids and deportations!