The original plan was that the rally, organized by D.C. Vote, would take place in front of Charlotte’s Federal Reserve bank branch — a symbolic gesture for an event highlighting the city’s lack of control over its locally raised tax dollars. But the bank site, only a block from the arena where the convention is being held, was too far inside the security perimeter to be practical. So the rally was moved to a designated “speaker’s platform” — a soapbox of sorts farther from the arena, where any cause can reserve a half-hour to espouse as they please.
The problem, as explained by D.C. Vote spokesman James Jones: Shortly before things were set to get underway, a group of Occupy-style protesters occupied a street near the designated rally area. In what Jones called a “huge display of force,” police swooped in, swept up the Occupy-ers and, in the process, cordoned off the area in such a way that many of the D.C. protesters couldn’t get to their protest.