City’s ‘delay tactics’ stall DNC parade permits, groups say

City’s ‘delay tactics’ stall DNC parade permits, groups say

Credit: The Charlotte Observer

A coalition of dozens of protest groups planning to protest at the DNC held a press conference Friday outside Bank of America Stadium.

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by The Charlotte Observer

WCNC.com

Posted on April 13, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Leaders of national organizations gathered in Charlotte Friday to announce plans to demonstrate at September’s Democratic National Convention in what they called the “Wall Street of the South.”

A dozen sign-carrying protesters detailed their plans at a news conference outside Bank of America Stadium — the site of President Obama’s Sept. 6 acceptance speech.

Leaders of the Coalition to Protest at the DNC said they’ve made multiple, unsuccessful attempts to obtain permits for parks and a parade during the convention.

Coalition leaders say city representatives had told them there will be a process for applying for space but have not indicated when that will be made public.

“The rights of the people to present their demands for economic, social and political justice to the delegates of a major electoral party must not be curtailed by excessive delay tactics,”said Elena Everett, a member of Occupy Durham.

“We are taking every step to ensure that a successful and safe march will take place in Charlotte that brings forth a people’s agenda for workers rights and to end unemployment, discrimination and war,” she said.

The Coalition to Protest at the DNC includes 60 organizations from North Carolina and across the country, including labor organizations, peace groups, Occupy groups, students and youth, and other prominent activists.

City Attorney Bob Hagemann said Friday the city is working on a system for allowing parades and access to a speakers platform during the DNC.

“We don’t have all that put together yet,” Hagemann said. “We’re not going to accept permits until that’s done.”

Hagemann said he anticipates that the city in June will outline how organizations can apply for permits to parade and use the speakers platform.

The city attorney said he didn’t know where the demonstrators will be allowed to gather during the convention. “They’re still working on a security plan,” he said.

But Hagemann added: “Our parks and sidewalks will be open for people to exercise their First Amendment rights unless they’re restricted for security purposes.”

On Saturday, the coalition will hold a day-long organizing conference to discuss convention plans. The conference will begin at 9 a.m. at the Charlotte School of Law.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/04/13/3171183/citys-delay-tactics-stall-dnc.html#storylink=cpy

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