Protests Converge On Bank Of America
Three separate groups marched from three locations and converged on 1 Bank of America Center. Photo: Tanner Latham Over 500 protestors demonstrated outside the Bank of America shareholders meeting Wednesday morning. Police were on alert, and so were the protestors. But both sides showed efficiency and mutual respect. And as WFAE's Tanner Latham reports, this might give us a glimpse of what to expect in September. The big protest actually began as three smaller ones in three locations Uptown. At the designated time, the groups marched to the Bank of America Center tower, impressively converging on the intersection there, forcing police to shut it down. Police then rerouted traffic, allowing the protestors the freedom to stand and even sit in the road. CMPD Major Jeff Estes says that was the plan all along. "We want to make sure we have a good, measured approach," says Estes. "That we're not overreacting or under reacting. Sometimes that's difficult, because a lot of these things, they aren't RSVP." Police lined up a barricade of bicycles around the edges of the intersection. Photo: Tanner Latham There were no injuries. No property damage. And there were only six arrests for minor infractions. Michael Zytkow, a representative from Occupy Charlotte, says the protest was to highlight what he says are the bank's corrupt practices. "They're leading the charge in profiting off of foreclosing on our homes. And while we got sold out, they got bailed out," he says Both protestors and the police spoke of this being like a dress rehearsal for September's Democratic National Convention. Like the DNC, the shareholder meeting had been designated an extraordinary event. That means police can question and detain people within a two block perimeter of the event if they are carrying backpacks, glass containers, permanent markers or anything that could cause harm when thrown. This designation has received a lot of criticism, but protestors say it didn't cause any problems.