The Democratic National Convention opens today in Charlotte, North Carolina, bringing more than 35,000 delegates, journalists and activists to the nation’s second-largest financial hub. On Sunday, a coalition of groups organized the first large protest of the DNC. More than 1,000 people rallied in what was described as a march on Wall Street South. Stops on the march included Bank of America’s global headquarters and the home of Duke Energy, one of the nation’s largest utility companies and an operator of coal-fired and nuclear power plants.
Early voting begins in North Carolina on Thursday, nearly two months before Election Day. Once again, the state is seen as a key battleground state. In 2008, President Obama won the state becoming the first Democrat to do so since Jimmy Carter in 1976. We’re joined by Rev. Dr. William Barber, a grassroots leader deeply involved in the fight to preserve voting rights in North Carolina and to mobilize unregistered voters. Barber is president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP and serves as pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church Disciples of Christ in Goldsboro. He successfully campaigned for same-day registration and early voting in North Carolina and helped win passage of the state’s Racial Justice Act, which allows North Carolina death row inmates to reduce their sentences to life in prison without parole in certain circumstances when race played a factor in their trial or sentencing.
Baldemar Velásquez, founder and president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee of the AFL-CIO, has been organizing migrant workers since he worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s. An Ohio delegate at the Democratic National Convention, Velásquez has been working to organize migrant farm workers in North Carolina — more than 90 percent of whom are undocumented. On Monday, Velásquez was part of a Southern Workers Assembly here in Charlotte that brought together farm laborers along with others who work in the manufacturing and service industries. Their challenge is significant: The South is the least unionized region in the United States, and union density in North Carolina is just 2 percent.
In the shadow of the world headquarters of Bank of America and the media frenzy surrounding the Democratic National Convention, we look at a side of Charlotte you will not see this week in the network coverage — the city’s poor. We’re joined by Charlotte Observer reporter Fred Clasen-Kelly. Clasen-Kelly is a reporter for the Charlotte Observer and has written on poverty, homelessness and race relations in the city.
On Sunday ahead of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, more than 1,000 people gathered for a March on Wall Street South. Before the march kicked off speakers from organizations around the country gathered in Charlotte’s Frazier Park. We hear some of their voices.
Duke Energy, the nation’s largest utility, has played a major role in bringing the Democratic National Convention to Charlotte, North Carolina. Duke has a lot riding on future policies governing coal, nuclear energy and climate change, regardless of who wins November’s election. The company has partly been successful in fighting off federal regulations thanks to its ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, reportedly sponsoring ALEC’s meetings and bankrolled its attacks on clean energy legislation. We discuss Duke Energy’s growing political influence with Monica Embrey, the North Carolina organizer for Greenpeace USA; and Beth Henry, a local activist in Charlotte raising awareness about Duke Energy and its ties to the Democratic National Convention.
A busload of more than 40 undocumented immigrants and their supporters known as the Undocubus has arrived in Charlotte after traveling more than 2,000 miles, through 11 states, to deliver a message to President Barack Obama and the Democrats under the slogan of "No Papers, No Fear." In many of the 15 cities they visited on their way to Charlotte, they engaged in civil disobedience to protest their criminalization by state and federal immigration laws. We’re joined by two of the riders, Leticia Ramirez and Rosi Carrasco.
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