Police observe protestors Monday in Charlotte.

Police observe protestors Monday in Charlotte. Patrick Semansky/AP

Protesters, security forces clash in Charlotte

Standoff blocks roads that were not expected to be closed.

Rowdy protesters and stepped-up security wreaked havoc in uptown Charlotte on the first day of the Democratic National Convention.

For several hours in the afternoon, a standoff between police and protesters identifying themselves with the Occupy movement blocked roads that were originally not expected to be closed. This exacerbated traffic problems, stranding or delaying some delegates and even other demonstrators.

“I’ve been trying to get into this area for 45 minutes,” said Washington Mayor Vincent Gray, one of the delegates. He ran into trouble both driving and walking while trying to get to the convention for another rally for D.C. statehood.

“We could drive up to a certain point, and then we had to walk down a couple blocks, up a couple blocks, down three blocks and, of course, ironically enough, when we got here, it was over,” Gray said in a tired, exasperated tone.

The group of about 50 protesters wanted to march down Stonewall Street, which borders the convention center and is a few blocks from the Time Warner Cable Arena, but police say they stopped the demonstrators because they were blocking traffic. After a standoff that lasted at least two hours, Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Chief Rodney Monroe summoned a protester to a  meeting that took about 10 minutes and ended with an agreement that if protesters confined themselves to the sidewalk they would be allowed to march.

It was then that the clashes between protesters and conventioneers got personal. Police broke up a heated exchange between two Nevada delegates and at least one protester. The confrontation happened as the delegates and a much smaller crowd of activists passed each other on the sidewalk.

“I’m proud to be a Democrat, period,” delegate JoEtta Brown said as police escorted her away from the protesters. It was unclear what the protesters and delegates were arguing about except the general notion that the demonstrators were unhappy with President Obama and the Democratic Party writ large.

Just one more block down Stonewall Street,  another shouting match broke out between a protester and convention guests Ronald Mincey and Ruth Richards. “The only time we see you is at stuff like this,” Mincey yelled at the protester, 20-year-old Matthew Malone. Malone and many of the others there were protesting to support Bradley Manning, an Army soldier who was arrested in May 2010 on suspicion of having passed classified material to WikiLeaks, the whistle-blower website.

Despite the disturbances, Charlotte police had arrested only three people as of 5 p.m.—and two of the arrests weren’t related to the standoff. Two men were arrested on charges of disrupting a National Journal event earlier on Tuesday. Another man was taken into custody near the standoff area for breaching a police line and barricade.

Many conventioneers were already grappling with logistical difficulties.

“They wouldn’t let us walk on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard,” said Pam Douglas, who was attending the convention as part of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. But the problems she faced were not a result of the protests. They were “just because of the way they did the strategic planning,” Douglas said bitterly while waiting for the police to allow her to pass the protesters to get to her hotel, the Hampton Inn, on the other side of the standoff.

People’s experiences getting around Charlotte varied, depending on how and when they reached the security-laden uptown area. Convention-goers who took public transportation, such as the rail system Lynx, said the trip didn’t take long at all. But those trying to get from one point to another within the uptown area said it took hours to go just a few miles.

“We’re dealing with a smaller geographical area than in years past, and that has its benefits and burdens,” said Manny Ortiz, who was at the convention with consulting and lobbying firm Brownstein Hyatt. “Benefits are, your distances are closer, but you’re all stacked together, and there’s a lot of foot traffic.”

Ortiz, who was trying to get out of the uptown area, added, “Something like this—a protest—that blocks the only access road you have to your bus makes it even worse.”

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.