Posted: Sep 4, 2012 3:52 PM by Lauren Molenburg
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Protesters blocked an intersection near the Democratic National Convention for about two hours on Tuesday, attracting hundreds of police officers, in the tensest demonstration yet outside either political convention.
Officers took two protesters away in handcuffs, other demonstrators got into shouting matches with delegates and their standoff blocked a route used by delegate buses. Still, no violence or significant damage occurred even after the protesters were eventually allowed to march into the heart of Charlotte's central business district.
The demonstration started when half a dozen veterans protesting the incarceration of a soldier accused of leaking documents to the WikiLeaks website were joined in an unauthorized march by dozens of members of the Occupy movement.
About 50 protesters disrupted traffic by sitting down in the middle of an intersection about five blocks from where the convention is being held. They were surrounded by officers, some in riot gear, and warned to disperse or be arrested.
The impasse was broken after two protesters spoke to the Charlotte police chief and said they were told they could continue to walk as a group on public sidewalks. They then continued past the city's convention center, where some delegates had been attending peripheral activities. Official convention events start Tuesday evening at the city's basketball arena.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)