Protest groups targeting RNC in Tampa, DNC in Charlotte eye diverging strategies
Wake up and good morning. Protest groups that are planning to, well, protest at the upcoming Republican National Convention in Tampa and at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., are starting to take on different strategies.
While the Tampa convention continues to be the target of the more generic Coalition to March on the RNC, the groups focused on the Charlotte event have changed the name of their umbrella group from the Coalition to Protest at the DNC to a more specific Coalition to March on Wall Street South. Wall Street South is a reference to Charlotte, home to Bank of America and the former headquarters town of First Union Corp. before it was bought by California's Wells Fargo Corp. Even with the loss of First Union, Charlotte's corporate culture is bank heavy and its leaders still tout the city as the South's only real financial muscle away from those giant money center banks in New York City.
Does that name change matter? As explored in this New York Times story, the removal of "DNC" in the protest name and addition of "Wall Street South" is controversial among protesters. Some feel it's letting the Democratic Party off the hook, while others say it is an effort to capture more of the protest energy of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
One things is clear. Charlotte already is taking extra steps to protect its giant corporations, not only Bank of America but also Duke Energy -- the big Charlotte-based power company that is trying to acquire Progress Energy. Both shareholder meetings have been designated "extraordinary events" that allow the city to be more involved in limiting and controlling protesters. Read more from the Charlotte Observer and Reuters reporting on Wednesday's (May 9) Bank of America meeting. It is all a warm-up to the DNC events coming late this summer.
-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times