Reboot Charlotte: DNC Protest Parade Route
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - When the Democratic National Convention comes to town in September expect lots of chanting, singing and interesting art.
However, it wont just be the delegates who will be showing off those skills, the protestors will also be making a statement.
Pat McCoy, who is the executive director of Action NC, which is a Charlotte advocacy group knows many of the demonstrators who will be in town for the DNC.
He says, "They're committed to peaceful, non violent, direct action protest. They're working very hard to create a consensus, not only in their organization but among a number of different groups, to make sure what happens here is constructive politically.."
But for the businesses along the city's mandated protest parade route, the thousands of protestors expected to be there may be anything but constructive.
Some businesses are considering shutting down for the few days protestors will be in town, others are encouraging employees to work from home.
Instead of dealing with the headache, businesses like the Actor's Theater of Charlotte are taking a different approach. “We actually are renting out our space.
The staff here at actors theater will no be impacted, whatsoever." says Robert Touchstone who is in charge of marketing.
It's a decision motivated by the fact that the parade route runs right past the theater's front door on Stonewall and up to Caldwell. It then heads to Third Street and down to Marshall Park.
The idea of having a mass protest in the heart of the city is still unique for folks in uptown. But the DNC is forcing the Queen City to change its way of doing business on a number of fronts.
McCoy says CMPD's open communication in dealing with demonstrators during the big Bank of America protest in May, is one of the ways the Queen City is rebooting itself as a globally recognized city.
He points out, “They recognized we've got 700 people who are very fired up, who are very motivated, it makes sense for all sides to work together. "
That communication and mutual respect has built up lots of good will which McCoy and other protest groups hope will translate into a peaceful yet meaningful protest.