Charlotte protests are attracting people from abroad as well


A march, which began early Monday evening in uptown Charlotte moved into North Davidson Street (NoDa). The protest has been mostly peaceful so far with minor aggressive cases spreading here and there. However, the leaders have been continuously urging attendees to remain peaceful to avoid escalation of the situation. The march has been met with positive feedback from the locals as well as the businesses operating in the region. People have been cheering the protesters from the balconies and windows and business owners have been spreading food and water near 33rd street.

Earlier in the night, the protesters marching in uptown Charlotte have circled around the city’s government building calling for an end to systematic racism and police violence. Mayor Lyles has stated that she saw around 3,000 people from the window of her office. Other crowds have also been gathering all over the city with the number of people ranging from 1000 to 2000 persons per group. By the end of the day, the numbers usually fall down to a couple of hundred.

Interfaith clergy members have held a “die-in” to protest the police using physical force as well as poisonous chemical agents on protesters. The white clergy was laying at the back for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, while their black associates stood with the posters stating “Am I next?” The amount of time was demonstrating the period it took the Minneapolis police officer to fatally choke George Floyd with his knee when he was gasping for air. 

Charlotte has had one of the largest racial justice protests organized by churches in recent history. It has attracted the attention of many religious people from overseas, but it also comes with very demeaning attention. For example, according to Sven Bjergsen from Casinopå website, many European casinos are taking advantage of the situation in the US and featuring bets on how many people will show up. Both the authorities and more “respectful” establishments are trying to combat this issue, but the more relevant the protests become ,the more people will try to profit from it. However, as long as it doesn’t damage the movement it should not be an issue, but unfortunately, for many people, seeing these bets occur about the protests kind of dumbs down the whole agenda.

The Reverend, Glencie Rhedrick, who is a co-chair of Charlotte Clergy Coalition of Justice (CCCJ) and the organizer of the event has stated that this visualization was meant to show the community that the spiritual leaders are standing with them and are fully devoted to seeking justice for everyone. Rhedrick has added that “As clergy, we all understand that when one dies, we all die,” and that “To reflect the horror, the trauma, the sufferings, the dying and the anguish the black community experiences daily.”

All of the different faith clergies have united to create a joint statement about the abuse of chemicals and pepper spray against peaceful protesters from the police department following the Tuesday night’s clash between activists and the CMPD where chemical agents were deployed on marchers. This has been evaluated as an “ambush” from a lot of the people involved in the incident. The CMPD has officially launched a second investigation into this clash with the protesters.

Some of the activists have publicly stated their discontent with the proposals since they do not believe these demands to be going “far enough.” As many have called for more de-escalation training for the police officers highlighting the fact that African Americans are more subject to police brutality, which often ends with deadly results due to racism. Some have even gone as far as stating that the police department should be abolished as a whole. 

The police have been peacefully accompanying the march as much as possible with some officers marching tens of miles all throughout the 9 days (and counting) of the protest. Although the speakers at the protests, organized by the NAACP, have been demanding the defunding of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.