CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The first busload of protesters coming from last week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa arrived shortly before 2 a.m. this morning, bringing about 55 people who joined Occupy Charlotte members already camping in Marshall Park.
At 9 a.m. this morning, about 18 people were peacefully sitting amid the roughly dozen tents erected, browsing computers, chatting with one another and listening to music.
Jason Woody, 28, said he was in Charlotte to protest because “there are injustices going on, and I had to be a part of this cause. What we’re doing is exercising our First Amendment rights.” Woody was laid off from his job as an acquatics director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta in 2008.
Gregory Gifford, 47, a single dad from New Hampshire, said one of his main reasons for coming to Charlotte was to protest the banks, particularly Bank of America.
“They’ve already robbed us,” he said of their practices. He also is upset over the federal government’s spending on wars.
“We’ve spent a trillion dollars to get (Osama) Bin Ladin, and we could have spent that money on education, scholarships, healthcare,” he said.
Protesters said they have heard that around 10 buses may arrive bringing protesters during the next two days.