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Friday, September 7, 2012

Protesters close out a long week with one big message

Posted By on Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Protesters had a lot to say this week, but they drove one point home on the biggest night.

A machine projected "Fuck the DNC" on different buildings in Uptown during Thursday's big march, the last of the official Democratic National Convention protests.

Occupiers left Marshall Park with daylight on their backs. The three hour march that began at about 7:30 p.m. ran into the beginning of President Obama's speech.

A jazz band played at the intersection of Tryon and Trade streets as protesters made their way toward the convention.
  • Jeff Hahne
  • A jazz band played at the intersection of Tryon and Trade streets as protesters made their way toward the convention.

As they had been most of the week, protesters focused on their discontent with America's two-party political system. Many seemed frustrated that Obama was not the "liberal savior" they expected. Confrontations on Thursday happened not between police and protesters but between protesters and Obama supporters, who watched from sidewalks. Mostly, Occupiers would respectfully ask onlookers to "hear them out" before launching into speeches about corporations buying candidates from both parties.

Passersby also remained peaceful, even supportive. One man got into an animated conversation with a protester, who insisted that voting for Obama wouldn't change anything. As marchers once again started down the street the man clapped and raised his fist in support. A smile stretched across his face.

A jazz band near Bank of America Center played music as the group arrived, and continued playing throughout its long stop. Though it was obviously meant to drown out protesters' speeches, the music made for a lively and fun event. People on the street danced.

When the band stopped, protester Joel Northampton addressed the crowd standing across the street.

"We hope that we do not have to say 'I told you so' a year or two after the elections. Maybe we should not subscribe to a coward democracy. It is not a democracy yet. But it will be."

The only group that got a rise out of protesters was two UNC Charlotte students, one of whom held a sign that read "We (heart) CMPD."

One of the men, 22-year-old John Chester, told me he didn't so much disagree with the protesters' messages.

"They're just running down the street being herded by police looking like idiots. It's not an effective way to get your message across," he said.

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