CHARLOTTE — More than 120 protesters from the Occupy Wall Street
movement turned up outside of the Democratic National Convention (DNC)
Tuesday calling for the arrest of President Barack Obama. The crowd
consisted mainly of disaffected young voters who had eagerly cast their
ballots for Obama in 2008.
“I wept in the street when this guy won [in 2008], but he hasn’t
gotten the job done,” one protester told an Obama supporter outside of
the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
An Occupy protester from Atlanta who goes by the name D-Rocket turned
up in Charlotte after sitting out the Republican National Convention
last week. He said that the protest’s presence at the DNC was even more
important since Obama has failed to carry out many of the policies he
advocated on the campaign trail in 2008.
“Even the healthcare bill was a massive kickback to pharmaceutical
and insurance companies,” he said. “The one that eventually got passed
is essentially a requirement that everybody purchase health insurance …
I’m not very happy with it.”
Mr. Rocket roamed the streets of Charlotte with a life-size replica
of a Reaper drone that Obama has used to kill terrorists, including
American-born Anwar al-Awlaki. Obama has made his counter-terrorist
operations the center of his foreign policy credentials to demonstrate
his toughness to the American people. However, that strategy received a
sour response from protesters in Charlotte, who decried the high
civilian toll drones have taken in Afghanistan.
The crowd carried a more militant attitude than D-Rocket into the
soaked, barren, caged-in “Free Speech zone” that Democrats and the city
of Charlotte constructed for the protesters. The crowd chanted “arrest
Obama” and held signs that called the president a “fucking traitor” as
they assembled outside of the zone surrounded by dozens of bicycle cops.
Several police helicopters circled overhead.
“Thanks a lot Gestapo,” a protester snarled at a police officer as he joined his compatriots.
“There’s not been a lot of progress,” D-Rocket said.
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