CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Hundreds were gathering Sunday for a march through Charlotte's central business district ahead of the Democratic National Convention to protest what they say is a corporate takeover of the nation's political process.
Late Sunday morning, about 250 demonstrators had gathered at a park on the outskirts of Charlotte's Uptown district for the march that was set to begin at 1 p.m. Organizers have said they were expecting thousands.
Demonstrators had signs indicating that some were union workers, anti-war veterans and undocumented immigrants.
A crowd was standing around a stage where people were speaking in front of a banner that read "PEOPLE POWER NOW." Some people flung bras into the air, while others carried signs reading: "Bust Up The Banks." At least one person carried an oversized cut-out of President Barack Obama on a stick.
The route of Sunday's March on Wall Street South will take participants past the corporate headquarters of Bank of America and a major office hub for Wells Fargo. They are two of the nation's largest financial institutions and beneficiaries of massive taxpayer-backed loans during the 2008 bailout of the financial sector. Both banks have also been criticized for roles in the home foreclosure crisis.
Organizers say the protest will be peaceful, but hundreds of police officers will also be on the streets.