Occupiers: Charlotte suffers 'DNC fever'

Credit: David Hinshaw / The Charlotte Observer

Occupy Charlotte participants hold a news conference Tuesday, Feb. 07, 2012, at the plaza of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center to speak out against what they call a 'DNC Fever' among local officials. Michael Zytkow, a member of Occupy Charlotte, said the group wants to put a spotlight on activities tied to planning for the Democratic National Convention that they feel are not in the best interest of residents.

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by STEVE HARRISON / The Charlotte Observer

WCNC.com

Posted on February 7, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 8 at 5:52 PM

A dozen members of the Occupy Charlotte movement held a news conference today criticizing the city of Charlotte for "having DNC fever," which they said causes officials not to act in the public's interest.

Protestor Michael Zytkow said the city's enthusiasm for the Democratic National Convention led it to make what he considers poor decisions, such as adopting anti-camping ordinances that targeted Occupy protestors.

In addition, Zytkow criticized the city's refusal to disclose what it is buying in preparation for the convention, namely up to $25 million in new police equipment.

"There is no public vote," he said. "Why is this the case?"

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police has declined to say what they are buying for the DNC, saying that could jeopardize security plans.

Police last week evicted Occupy protestors from the lawn of old City Hall, where they had camped since October. Tuesday's event was held on the plaza at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center.

The group has said it is protesting what it considers the undue financial and political influence of the nation's top 1 percent.

During the press event, Zytkow wore white doctor's coat, a prop he used to make his point about "diagnosing DNC fever."

Occupy Charlotte has also criticized Mecklenburg County's plans for its parks during the convention. The group said it understands the parks have been reserved for the DNC.

Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation Director Jim Garges said Tuesday that the convention hasn't reserved any parks. He said his department has put a hold on taking any reservations for parks inside and near the Interstate 277 loop until the county learns more about the convention's needs and security requirements.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/02/07/2992728/occupiers-charlotte-suffers-dnc.html#storylink=cpy

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