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Dispatch From the Occupy DNC Protest

If Sunday demonstrated anything it was that Charlotte was ready for an invasion.

Hundreds of police lined the protest route that looped from Frazier Park through the downtown and uptown areas of the city in preparation for Sunday’s Occupy protests. 

A few hundred protestors, reporters and onlookers lined the streets.

(Photo courtesy of Neda Semnani)
Rebel Diaz Art Collective from New York’s South Bronx joins the Occupy DNC protest (Photo courtesy of Neda Semnani)

DJ Charlie Hustle (far right) and the rest of the Rebel Diaz Art Collective, a crew of hip hop inspired artists from the South Bronx, arrived earlier this weekend to perform at an alternative event Saturday night. The collective will be here all week.

They will be voting for Castro/Chavez 2012, Hustle promises.

Bicycle cops lining the streets of downtown Charlotte. (Photo courtesy of Neda Semnani)
Occupy DNC protesters (Photo courtesy of Neda Semnani)


Scenes from the Occupy DNC protest. Fake drone meets a real bank. (Photo courtesy of Neda Semnani)


Raymond Broome, a homeless man, living in Charlotte shelters. (Photo courtesy of Neda Semnani)

Raymond Broome, 52, has been homeless for a year. Originally from Denver, N.C., 9 months ago he came down to Charlotte to get fitted with a pacemaker. Most nights, he says, he sleeps in a shelter. He eats using food stamps and other services. This week he and most of his fellow homeless will be out of sight.

The city is putting the homeless up in “inns” for the week of the convention, he explains.

He can’t vote, because he’s a felon, he says. He probably wouldn’t vote even if he could.

“They are all going to do the same as they are doing right now,” he says. “They have other people they have to answer to.”

Police officers with guns line Charlotte streets. (Photo courtesy of Neda Semnani)
Officers on motorcycles line the streets. (Photo courtesy of Neda Semnani)

One police officer told us that there are a significant number of law enforcement that were brought in from various jurisdictions, including Charleston, S.C., and Raleigh, N.C.

“We hope for the best,” he says. “Prepare for the worst.

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