CHARLOTTE, NC On the first day of DNC activity protestors took some public space for their own, occupying Marshal Park, right dab smack in the center of the Militarized Zone.
The beautiful park lays right in the middle of the governmental district of the city on the in-between McDowell St and Davidson St on 3rd St.
The park offers a large manmade lake with a fountain, a bridge over the water and plenty of grassy space for tents, fairly easy access to various parts of town considering the tightness of security in the city.
The park service has been providing port-o-potties, running water; lighting and helping the occupiers maintain the parks pristine nature.
So far protestors have behaved swimmingly; keeping any drinking or illicit drug use to a minimum and out of public view, there’s only been one incident of violence all week within the park.
Where an unidentified agent provocateur entered the camp approaching a six five inch tall anarchist and putting his hands on him. The provocateur had in his possession a large K-bar, other anarchist in the area disarmed the man and escorted him off the grounds. At which point he went to the far side of the encampment and antagonized, taunted protestors from afar, while engaging the rank and file local and delegates alike and generally speaking nonsense about the movement in the slovenly slurred voice of a drunk.
Apparently the individual was a militiaman of some sort, who kept calling for blood in the streets, likely he was a cop trying to incite occupiers into violence, either inside the camp among themselves or with the police, or some other act.
However; the Occupiers just weren’t having it and ignored him after throwing him out of the park for the safety of everyone involved.
However; the biggest battles were reserved for the weather, between the extreme heat, humidity, and torrential down pours it seems that Mother Nature has won this round, but the occupiers remained defiant and spirits held high during the week even when temperatures of the emotional sort flared, they persevered.
The police didn’t have much of a presence on the ground; then again they didn’t really need to considering the officers high in every building that surrounded the park and the eavesdropping equipment throughout the park and the rest of the city.
Police could monitor protesters anywhere within special event zone and even other parts of the city from the comfort of an office desk anywhere in the world anytime.
Not only could they watch and hear the protestors, but with software being tested predict their behavior, this same behavior predicting software was used in Tampa Bay, FL and the RNC.
Plenty of food and other minor donations trickled into the park for the protestors, dry sock were continually provided each day, stressing foot care, nearly as strongly as hydration.
It seemed that the revelry never stopped lasting into the wee hours of the morning every night and every day.
Protestors continually cleaned up after themselves, which should have been very easy to do with only a little over a hundred people, but was made difficult by the constant rain.
Although no outside organization helped with food or housing they made due, getting donation from private individuals, dumpster diving and through other methods.
They had no consistent kitchen to cook from until al large old blue bus converted into a mobile kitchen arrive from the RNC to save the last two days, with the luxury of piping hot food and finally coffee.
All the elements that seemed to work against the brought everyone closer together, making them stronger, which reflected in the power of all of the marches that took the streets over the course of the past week.
Despite their small number, their solidarity among themselves and with those who accompanied them made their action evermore powerful, going stronger and bolder every day.
The rules posted in the park where for outsiders unless it saved them some ill or other. The ban on political signs was both sorely and viciously ignored. However; their disregard of the posted rule is not out of maliciousness, but mere necessity, with their frustrations building they need to spend their down time having as much none destructive fun as possible. Then there are those rule such as the anti – 1st Amendment rule against having political signs, which are a necessity to the very act of protest for which they are here in the first place.
It seems that they have managed to not only hold this plot of land with minimal resistance from authorities or locals a miracle considering its location in the Militarized Zone, but to become a closer, stronger family of revolutionaries for peace, liberty and social justice, while minimizing many of the problems of an encampment, often with much less.
The question as with any encampment is how long will they be allowed to hold onto it, only authorities don’t have to give warning before they evict them as they have at every other eviction due to the Extraordinary Event Regulations in place otherwise known as MARSHAL LAW!