Open Thread: Showdown Looms Between 'Occupy' Movement and Dem Convention
Have Democrats created a monster by egging on the left-wing "Occupy Wall Street" movement by encouraging people to copy the original New York-based group in other cities? That seems to be the case in Charlotte, North Carolina where the outdoor hippie group is still hanging on to its encampment with an eye toward a showdown at the Democratic National Convention which will be staged in Charlotte in September of next year:
Despite colder weather and a possible crackdown by city officials in January, Occupy Charlotte protesters are pushing forward -- with meetings, fundraisers and eventually what they say will be a showdown at the Democratic National Convention. [...]
Four months later, the occupation could face losing its base camp as Charlotte City Council members are expected to discuss possibly removing the remaining campers during a January council meeting.
But, for now, protesters say the determination to continue remains unchanged, even strengthened.
"We've started realizing that there was way more people here that weren't for the movement," said Steve Barker, 28.
Barker was one of a dozen protesters who attended a recent general assembly meeting, where, among other topics, the group discussed the possibility of joining a coalition of protesters at next year's convention.
The coalition already includes the South Carolina AFL-CIO, Students for a Democratic Society and the International Action Center.
Although Occupy Charlotte members have made no decision about joining the coalition, they have teamed with other protesters in the past -- welcoming protesters from Kansas, Oregon, Maryland and California. [...]
The Charlotte site is in stark contrast to occupations elsewhere. Since November, police have closed camps in Oakland, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Boston among other cities. Last week, police in riot gear kicked out Occupy Denver protesters, some of whom were arrested while others set tents on fire or fled.
Is the 2012 Democratic National Convention destined to become Chicago of 1968 all over again?