Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe got a close look at what security forces might face at next week's Democratic National Convention by observing demonstrations at the Republican National Convention in Tampa yesterday, says the Charlotte Observer. Monroe and 10 other Charlotte officers studied how police handled the smaller-than-expected demonstrations. The city's atmosphere, softened by the rain from nearby tropical storm Isaac, seemed unusually quiet. Police partially shut down at least 10 streets. Much of the area seemed deserted except for the marchers, officers, and a sprinkling of onlookers.
Police estimated about 500 demonstrators participated, including a few dozen dressed in black and covering their faces with bandanas. About 150 officers and sheriff deputies followed on foot, bike, and horseback. Hundreds gathered in a downtown park to speak out on corporate greed, immigration, reproductive rights, health care and war. Organizers had predicted about 5,000 demonstrators before Tropical Storm Isaac threatened the city. They said bus companies cancelled charters bringing more demonstrators. A March on Wall Street South is scheduled for Charlotte on Sunday.