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Charlotte Area

Protesters Get Permission To March During DNC

A coalition of protest groups has been granted a permit to march through Uptown Charlotte the week of the Democratic National Convention. The "Coalition to March on Wall Street South" received its permit just hours before organizers planned to confront the city council yesterday. Instead, protest organizer Ben Carroll thanked the city, calling the permit "a huge victory." "But this was only after eight months of being run through the bureaucratic gauntlet," added Carroll. "Of unanswered phone calls and unreturned messages. Unopened and returned permit applications from city officials, and excessive delay tactics on the part of the city and county. The eyes of the world are on Charlotte." Until yesterday, the city had refused to issue any parade permits, saying it needed time to develop a special permitting process and website for the convention. The city's DNC Permit Official Emily Cantrell says that website will be unveiled on Monday. She says the Coalition to March on Wall Street South is so far the only group to request a parade permit. The demonstrators will be allowed to gather in Frazier Park on the eastern edge of Uptown and march through the intersection of Trade and Tryon in front of Bank of America. However, security restrictions will prevent protesters from marching directly past Time Warner Cable Arena, where the convention will be held. The city is also establishing a speaker's platform for demonstrators during the DNC. Time slots will be assigned by random lottery to those who register on the city's forthcoming website.