Tuesday, May 1, 2012

99% Power attacks Charlotte's 'extraordinary event' decision

The 99% Power Coalition, a collection of protest groups who have announced their intention to bring hundreds of protesters to Charlotte for Bank of America's annual shareholder meeting next week, said the city's decision Monday to expand police powers during the event would not be intimidate them.

The powers were extended by the city manager's decision to declare the meeting an "extraordinary event," which comes from an ordinance developed for use during the DNC convention this fall. It gives police more latitude to search and arrest protesters carrying backpacks, coolers or markers.

“Invoking this draconian law is another example of our democracy being sold to the highest bidder," said  Julie Morgan, a local leader with Action NC, in a statement. "The City of Charlotte is protecting Bank of America’s bottom line. The Constitution and everyday people be damned."

The first test of the "extraordinary events" powers will come Thursday, at Duke Energy's shareholder meeting. Bank of America's meeting will be May 9.

“The one thing they got right is that this event will be extraordinary -- extraordinarily peaceful and powerful," said Marcella Robinson, executive director of Mortgage Fraud North Carolina, in a statement. "Bank of America does not need to be afraid of our magic markers or our stories.”