CHARLOTTE, N.C. -– With two weeks to go before the Democratic National Convention in uptown, protest groups are busy planning. It appears some groups are planning to legally protest, but others appear ready to break the law.
Volunteers at 'The Coalition to March on Wall Street South' spent Monday sending materials to supporters across the country. They included a new protest sign they expect to use during the march on Sunday, September 2.
The poster features leaders of the workers’ right movement, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“This week, we heard from people in Arkansas who are planning to bring folks. People from all the way in California who are planning to come out here,” said organizer Ben Carroll.
Carroll and dozens of volunteers moved into a new meeting space in the NoDa neighborhood over the weekend. It will also serve as a convergence space for September’s march, which could draw up to 10,000 protesters.
“We think the DNC has not come here because of us, the workers. They’ve come here for Bank of America and Wells Fargo,” said Ed Childs, whose group is part of the Coalition.
Other protest groups may be less focused on a political cause and more focused on chaos.
The group “Anonymous” was blamed for causing trouble with Chicago police in May during the NATO summit. Officers in riot gear were forced to push back crowds in the street.
According to websites claiming to represent the group, “Anonymous” plans to come to Charlotte for the DNC. Posted on one website is a message to followers, encouraging them to create trouble.
“By knowing the rules, you will know how to break them,” it reads, apparently referring to the new city law that bans certain items like bandanas, backpacks and masks.
“Bring all these things with you and try to clog the security check-point lines. Bring marbles! We have something special in store... You might not want to set up too close to a news truck. Anonymous has a plan,” the message reads.
CMPD hasn’t commented on any specific threats, but has said that national guard troops will be posted around uptown.
The Coalition to March on Wall Street South said it knows nothing about the threats by “Anonymous.” Members said they plan to follow the law during their march.
“This is a safe, permitted, family-friendly demonstration that we’re building,” said Carroll.