Wednesday May 09, 201203:51 PM GMT
‘Occupy’ protest hits Bank of America shareholders meeting
Wed May 9, 2012 3:50PM
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Occupy May Day in New York

 

Dozens of good-government groups, Occupy Wall Street contingents, environmental activists, struggling homeowners and institutional investors descend on Charlotte, N.C., to protest Wednesday's Bank of America shareholders' meeting.

 

Occupiers characterize the event as a test run for activism targeting September's Democratic National Convention, and expect thousands of protesters for a full day of marches and theatrics criticizing what they say are the Charlotte-based bank's consumer abuses and political power. Huffington Post

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Protestors chanted, “We are the 99 percent.” Raw Story

 

The demonstration is against the nation’s second-largest bank’s taking of taxpayer bailout money Raw Story

 

The widening of income inequality and growing corporate influence on governing have sown disillusionment among parts of the Democratic Party base, including Occupiers, much as the Vietnam War demoralized the Democratic base in the '60s. The tension climaxed in during the 1968 convention in Chicago, with a police crackdown still remembered as a pivotal event in 20th century American politics. Huffington Post

 

Charlotte authorities may not have the brutal reputation of Chicago's Democratic Daley family that ordered the assaults on protesters. But today's organizers note that Charlotte authorities are already cracking down on dissent. Huffington Post

 

In fact, the arrests have already begun. On Monday, three activists were taken into police custody for carrying a banner criticizing the bank, according to organizers who discussed the matter on a Tuesday call with reporters. The city of Charlotte has authorized a broad array of unconventional police powers for the bank shareholders' meeting on Wednesday. The American Civil Liberties Union has criticized the preemptive crackdown for permitting the arrest of anyone carrying a backpack, purse or briefcase with the intent to conceal anything on a long list of prohibited items, ranging from weapons to markers to bicycle helmets. Those same police powers will be in effect for September's DNC Convention. Huffington Post

 

"Part of it is testing those out," explained Tammy Shapiro, an activist with Occupy Wall Street. She came to Charlotte from New York City to participate in the protests. She called the new police powers "ludicrous." "There's the sense that we are going to challenge what these laws are." Huffington Post

 

The new police powers were authorized by a City Council ordinance earlier this year that also banned camping in Charlotte, effectively razing the Occupy Charlotte community. Huffington Post

 

DT/ARA

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