The Slideshow

Not all the action during the DNC will come from politicians. Here’s a guide to the protests —L. R.


More than seventy left-leaning organizations have joined forces in the Coalition to March on Wall Street South—the Occupiers, environmentalists, college students fighting tuition hikes, union activists, anyone who wants to end unemployment. A bus drivers union is commuting in from Boston, says organizer Matt Hickson, a UNC Chapel Hill student and Charlotte native. A busload of undocumented immigrants, called the UndocuBus, is road-tripping from Arizona.

Coalition leaders are targeting the banks that make Charlotte the nation’s second-largest financial center. These companies control both political parties, the activists argue, yet their risky investments and subsequent multibillion-dollar bailouts have helped cause state budget cuts, job losses, and other troubles. The coalition’s ultimate goal, according to organizer Ben Carroll of Durham, is to counter the banks’ influence by building a “people’s movement from below.” The group has three major events planned for the weekend before the DNC:

Festivaliberación/Liberation Fest
WHEN: Sept. 1, all day
WHERE: 15th and North Davidson streets
Focused on students, immigrants, and people of color. The schedule includes spoken-word poetry and a nighttime concert featuring the activist hip-hop group Rebel Diaz. It’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s worst nightmare.

March on Wall Street South
WHEN: Sept. 2, 1 p.m.
WHERE: Frazier Park.
Between 2,000 and 5,000 people are expected to attend this demonstration, says Michael Zytkow of Occupy Charlotte. This estimate includes your hippie aunt from Asheville. The crowd will march past the headquarters of Bank of America and Duke Energy, as well as Bank of America Stadium.

Southern Workers Assembly
WHEN: Sept. 3, 1 p.m.
WHERE: Wedgewood Baptist Church, 4800 Wedgewood Dr.
Postal workers, tobacco farm laborers, public service employees, and other union folks will discuss organizing a more cohesive labor movement in the South.

Not all the demonstrators will be wearing blue. Rightwingers will be getting their free speech on, too:

Rock the Red 2012
WHEN: Sept. 5, 5 to 11 p.m.
WHERE: Bojangles’ Coliseum
Political consultant Jason Lambert of Waxhaw formed a SuperPAC to offer a conservative alternative to the DNC. He aims to register GOP voters and show the “fun side” of being anti-Obama. Travis Tritt headlines the show with State House Speaker Thom Tillis. As of late July, Lambert had sold between 1,900 and 2,400 tickets, he says.


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