Protesters at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) were allowed to continue their march after a standoff with police led to several arrests on Tuesday.
Protesters at the DNC blocked an intersection five blocks away from where the bulk of the convention was taking place and 14 people were arrested in what a Washington Post story called “most vigorous day of protests since both parties began meeting to formally nominate their presidential candidates.”
Hundreds of police responded to the intersection, which protestors blocked for nearly two hours. According to Yahoo News, the unauthorized march of about 50 people was allowed to continue through Charlotte’s business district when the protesters opted to continue their march on the sidewalk after discussing the issue with police.
The protesters’ stated goal was to speak to convention delegates, and there were some near clashes between the sides, but police kept the peace by forming a wall of officers and mountain bikes separating the groups. Police kept the march at least two blocks away from the Time Warner Arena, the site of the DNC, at all times.
The rowdy protest started with a small group of Vietnam veterans demanding better health care benefits, among other concerns. They were joined by at least 10 self-described illegal immigrants protesting immigration reform and that group was joined by a contingent from the Occupy movement.
Some of the protesters were protesting at the DNC after doing the same at the Republican National Convention a week before, and at least one of them was upset that police attempted to herd the group into a fenced in area approved for protests to the DNC.
“All of America used to be a free speech zone,” protester John Murdock said. Murdock added he had been at the Republican convention as well. He then gestured toward the officers and said, “This stuff is right out of George Orwell.”
The Democratic National Convention continues through Thursday.