The activist group Occupy the DNC has released a statement concerning the arrest of two demonstrators during the DNC on Thursday. A female protester was apparently arrested for carrying a flag on a pole, something that could be construed as prohibited by the DNC Ordinances which read: “[d]uring . . . an extraordinary event, it shall be unlawful for any person, other than governmental employees in the performance of their duties, to willfully or intentionally possess, carry, control or have immediate access to any of the following: (1) A bar, chain, shaft, staff, cable, wire, lumber, or plastic pipe capable of inflicting serious injury to a person if thrown at or struck upon another, except as permitted by City Code Sec. 19-303(d).”
Section 19-303(d) of the City Code sets out the requirements of signs, placards and flags carried during a demonstration. “Written or printed placards or signs, flags, or banners carried by individuals engaged in picketing shall be of such a size and/or carried on the sidewalks or other city-owned areas, as to allow safe and unobstructed passage of pedestrian or vehicular traffic. The staff or pole on which a sign, flag, or banner may be carried shall be made of corrugated material, plastic, or wood, and shall not exceed 40 inches in length and shall not be made of metal or metal alloy. If made of wood, the staff or pole shall be no greater than three-fourths inch in diameter at any point. A staff or pole must be blunt at both ends.” Activists contend that the flag did not violate any laws. The woman was charged with “City/Town Violation (Misdemeanor).”
A male protester was arrested during the same incident and was charged with disorderly conduct. The activists’ believe that he was arrested without cause. In relevant part, North Carolina State law defines disorderly conduct as “a public disturbance intentionally caused by any person who does any of the following: (1) Engages in fighting or other violent conduct or in conduct creating the threat of imminent fighting or other violence. (2) Makes or uses any utterance, gesture, display or abusive language which is intended and plainly likely to provoke violent retaliation and thereby cause a breach of the peace.” N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-288.4.
The activists also outline what they are calling the government’s “war on truth,” and contend that these two arrests are just another part of that effort.
The full statement is reproduced below:
“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Protesters Arrested in the War on Truth
Charlotte, NC, September 6th, 2012 – Two Occupy the DNC protesters were arrested today while peacefully marching in downtown Charlotte.
The Protesters were marching legally through downtown Charlotte, NC, at around 3pm when they were surrounded by law enforcement officers from numerous agencies. A female protester was confronted and was told her flag was not allowed, although the flag was within legal parameters. When the female protester questioned officers on the legality of counter-protesters signs, she was ignored and followed.
After being surrounded by Charlotte police and other agencies, the protester asked if she was being detained or arrested, but she received no answer. Being within her rights, and having questioned the officers multiple times without receiving a response, she announced her intent to leave and walked away. As she left, officers rushed her and, without telling her she was arrested, took her into custody.
After the female protester was detained, a fellow male protester was also surrounded and subsequently arrested without cause or action.
All of the above was captured on video and is available upon request. The video is unedited, raw and audible.
Hours later, President Obama accepted his nomination as the Democratic party’s candidate for the presidency.
Today is also the day we call for an end to the war on truth.
Pfc. Bradley Manning has been detained since May 29, 2010, for exposing war crimes committed during both the Bush and Obama administrations. Manning leaked this information to WikiLeaks for which the United States is also attempting to extradite the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange.
The war on truth has also led to over 7,400 Occupy-related arrests, many of which were the result of selective enforcement and/or were otherwise illegitimate. This increased crackdown on dissent must be questioned, and awareness must be raised. These brave people are not acting without reason. Barack Obama has a 48% disapproval rating, and Congress has an 82% disapproval rating.
This is not for the Obama administration alone; during George W. Bush’s second term his disapproval rating was at 78%. Both parties are at fault as are their corporate sponsors. Obama and Romney have accepted campaign contributions from many of the same companies (Goldman Sachs, Citi Group, etc.), and actually agree on many topics (NDAA, bailouts, NAFTA, war). Both parties also actively attempt to suppress 3rd party candidates (Gary Johnson, Jill Stein).
Obama said he would veto the NDAA 2011, then signed it into law on New Years eve while the country partied. He has also stated he would try to “overturn Citizens United”, which would reduce the influence of corporate money on politics and constrain the never-ending war waged on behalf of corporate interests. This war costs more than money, it costs lives. As drones are killing unarmed civilians, including children, our troops are dying for corporate profits.
The crimes and broken promises of this government have not gone unnoticed, the corruption of the 2-party system can no longer continue and the corporate influence of our political system must come to an end. The truth needs to come out, and the persecution of the people telling the truth needs to stop.
Occupy the DNC gathered at Marshall Park in downtown Charlotte, NC during the 2012 Democratic National Convention to protest many social, political and economic issues including corporate influence in government, Citizens United, the Koch brothers, and President Obama’s support of the NDAA and drone strikes overseas.”