On Wednesday, August 29th the Coalition to March on Wall Street South held a press conference in Charlotte, NC at 11am in Marshall Park, at the statue dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. along 3rd Street. The press conference announced the Coalition’s support of demonstrations at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, as well as the final plans for demonstrations before and during the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
The March on Wall Street South will step off at 1pm, and pass by the international headquarters of Bank of America, the eastern regional headquarters of Wells Fargo, the headquarters of Duke Energy, and the Time Warner Cable Arena and Bank of America Stadium where the Democratic National Convention will be held.
“Along the march, we’ll have two people’s speakouts in front of Bank of America and Duke Energy,” said Yen Alcala, an organizer with the Coalition to March on Wall Street South. “At these stops, people who have been directly impacted by these banks and corporations — who are having their homes foreclosed, who have thousands of dollars of student loan debt, who are having their communities destroyed by dirty energy practices, and who’s communities are targeted by the prison industrial complex — will speak out and put the banks on trial.”
Hundreds will march in issue-based contingents such as:
- The Unemployed Workers contingent
- “No Papers No Fear/Sin Papeles y Sin Miedo” Undocumented and Immigrants’ Rights contingent, organized by the Undocubus — a bus of more than 40 undocumented people who started their journey in Arizona and will end at the DNC in Charlotte
- a youth and student-led contingent calling for an end to budget cuts and tuition hikes, and to stop the school-to-prison-pipeline
- “Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Trans/Queer people are part of the 99%”contingent
- “Workers Rights are Human Rights! Organize the South” contingent, who will be organizing the Southern Workers Assembly on Labor Day
- “Housing is a Right! Moratorium on Foreclosures and Evictions!” contingent
- No war, No warming! Stop the Wars @ Home and Abroad! contingent
Following the march, there will also be a short closing rally beginning at 4pm at Frazier Park.
“We are excited to welcome a number of prominent organizers, activists, and performers from throughout the South and the U.S. to join us at the March on Wall Street South,” said Phyllis Jones, a retiree working with the Coalition. “Just a few of the people who will speak from the main stage include in the March include Cindy Foster, President of the Southern Piedmont Central Labor Council, Yen Alcala of Occupy Charlotte, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, the Undocubus, Mary Espinosa from United 4 the Dream, Jaribu Hill of the Mississippi Workers Center, Saladin Muhammad of Black Workers for Justice, John Heuer with Veterans for Peace, Monica Embrey with Greenpeace, Marilyn Levin with the United National Antiwar Coalition, and Victor Toro with the May 1st Coalition for Worker and Immigrant’s Rights, among many others.”
Michael Zytkow, member of the Coalition to March on Wall Street South and Occupy Charlotte, spoke on the Coalition’s solidarity with the ongoing protests at the RNC.
Cindy Foster, a member of the American Postal Workers Union and President of the Southern Piedmont Central Labor Council spoke on the Southern Workers Assembly set for Monday, September 3. The Southern Workers Assembly will bring together workers and unions from throughout the South to testify about the impacts of right to work and other anti-union laws in the South. The Assembly seeks to build an alliance of rank and file unions in the South to challenge these laws and other anti-worker conditions. The Assembly will begin at 1pm at Wedgewood Baptist Church (4800 Wedgewood Drive in Charlotte)
Carly Campbell, a youth organizer who has been working on building the Festivaliberacion, spoke about the plans for this exciting gathering led by immigrant youth and other youth and student organizations. The festival will begin at 12 noon at Area 15 (514 E. 15th Street) and feature a series of workshops and political discussions, and culminate in a concert starting at 5:30 p.m. and continuing through the evening featuring local artists and national artists Jasiri X from Pittsburgh, along with Rebel Diaz and the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective from the Bronx, NY.
Ernesto Lopez is a Community Organizer associated with the Puente Movement in Arizona who has been working with the migrant community for 7 years. He has worked on Get out the vote Campaigns, struggled against the racist, anti-immigrant law known as SB 1070, built the Arrest Arpaio Campaigns against the infamously racist sheriff, as well as other community building efforts in Arizona. He spoke on the No Papers No Fear bus ride, a mobilization of youth traveling through the country to oppose the repression of undocumented workers. His remarks brought out the need to fight against anti-immigrant bigotry and deportations.
Some of the coverage follows: