City of Charlotte holds lottery to determine protests

City of Charlotte holds lottery to determine protests

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by GLENN COUNTS / NewsChannel 36 Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @GCountsWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on July 2, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 25 at 9:19 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- When the Democratic National Convention comes to Charlotte in September a lot of protestors will come with it.  On Monday afternoon the city held a lottery at the Government Center to determine the dates and times for speakers.

"Today it was just for transparency.  We needed a content-neutral process to assign time slots," said Emily Cantrell, DNC Permit Official.

The lottery was televised, but Michael Zytkow with Occupy Charlotte was in attendance.

"The fact that we have free speech zones, government-designated free speech zones where the right to speak is determined by a lottery is just not right," said Zytkow.

The location of the free speech zones has not been set, but the parade route for those who want to take to the street is set.

It will start at Pearle Street Park, then go down Baxter to McDowell then to Stonewall, to Caldwell and finally down Third Street to Marshall Park.

"The official parade route offered by the city is insufficient.  It's not within sight and sound of the convention.  It’s in an area of Charlotte where (it) will not be within reach of the general public and we will not be able to have our voice heard," said Zytkow.

He expects the demonstrations to be peaceful even if they don’t end up where the city wants.

The city says that 41 groups applied for speaking or parade slots, which is far less than the number of openings.
 

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