City Settles On Route For DNC Protest Marches
Demonstrators hoping to march during the DNC will have to bring a big megaphone if they hope to be heard by delegates gathered at Time Warner Cable Arena. The "official route" the city has chosen for convention protesters is just over a mile long and sticks to the southeast corner of Uptown. It starts at Pearl Street Park on Kenilworth Avenue, just outside the 277 loop and puts protesters onto East Stonewall Street.
The route offers a glimpse of Bank of America Stadium where President Barack Obama will accept the nomination on Thursday night of the Democratic National Convention. Marchers will turn right onto Caldwell Street, passing by the NASCAR Hall of Fame where they'll get a glimpse of Time Warner Cable Arena - the epicenter of DNC activities. The parade route stops two blocks shy of the arena and heads east on 3rd Street to end at Marshall Park.
"We did the best we could to design a route that gave folks visual access to the two venues where the convention would be held - we think we've done that," says Charlotte City Attorney Bob Hagemann. "Is it as close as those who are marching want to be to those venues? Of course not. We can run them right past the building and there will be some who will demand the right to be inside the building."
People who plan to protest at the DNC have asked to be within "sight and sound" of the convention. Getting a glimpse of Bank of America stadium and Time Warner Cable Arena, isn't entirely the point says Matt Hickson of the Coalition to March on Wall Street South. "It's not only whether protesters can see the stadium, it's also whether the cameras and people at the stadium can see and are actively hearing and understanding what it means to have people's power at a convention like this," says Hickson.
City Attorney Bob Hagemann says protesters will still be allowed to make their voices heard on city sidewalks and in parks during the DNC - so long as those sidewalks aren't inside the secure zone. The parameters of that zone have not yet been released to the public. Groups interested in using the city's designated parade route must apply online at dncinfo.charlottenc.gov before June 27.