UPDATED: CHARLOTTE, N.C. – After a standoff with police at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) ended peacefully Tuesday afternoon, occupiers decided to push their luck and took to the streets again Tuesday night, blocking traffic and causing mayhem near the Time Warner Cable Arena and the Charlotte Convention center, where official DNC activities were taking place.
At roughly 9:30 pm occupiers filled the streets, banging drums and zig-zagged up and down the downtown area of Charlotte, giving police no indication of their next move. Approximately 200 police armed with nightsticks and pepper spray chased the occupiers around like an advance team, trying to block traffic along the protesters’ route. The chaos continued into the early morning before the protesters finally returned to their camp in Marshall Park a few blocks East of the Convention Center.
Earlier in the day, a group of approximately 50 occupiers parked themselves outside of the NASCAR Hall of Fame illegally blocking traffic for more than 2 hours.
Police officers at the scene said the occupiers marched from Marshall Park to the NASCAR building next door to the Convention Center, where they were stopped by police and remained until approximately 3pm. The Associated Press reports that the occupiers were allowed to continue marching after they agreed to stay on public sidewalks. Eventually, they marked back to Marshall Park.
After police arrived at the scene, reporters and members of the public were kept from entering the street to interact with the protesters by a human barricade of police. A second set of police officers lined up closer to the convention center about halfway through the stalemate to block people from approaching the NASCAR building.
Helicopters circled overhead as the protesters and police stood in a deadlock. The occupiers were especially upset about defense and foreign policy issues, shouting for the release of Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning and calling for Obama’s arrest because he is a “traitor.” The traitor talk caused one black DNC attendee to have a verbal confrontation with the protesters, several of which were black, and call them racists.
“F*ck Obama one, f*ck Obama two, Obama is a f*cking traitor,” the group of protesters he was arguing with chanted back at him.
Other protesters recited the protest substituting Romney’s name in for Obama.
Pony party ‘Presidential candidate’ Vermin Supreme also joined the protest, bringing signs of his face that said “Pony” and “teeth” with him. He received a warm welcome from the protestors, causing one police officer to ask if he was the leader of the Occupy movement.
“When I am President things will be a lot different, because you will be working for me, and you can imagine what that will be like,” Supreme told the crowd via bullhorn.
The NASCAR building has been a popular location for rallies and protests so far this week because of its proximity to the Convention Center, where the caucuses and councils are taking place. It is also serves as the home base for credential members of the media.
The Republican National Committee has been holding daily press briefings inside the building at NASCAR Plaza as part of its counter convention strategy. While the Occupy stand-off was occurring on the front side of the building, Planned Parenthood (PP) supporters were rallying on the backside of the building. Roughly 85 pro-abortion advocates attended the PP rally. Although, attendees said more may have attended if not for the disruption and confusion caused by the Occupy movement.