Saturday, May 18 2013 12:02 AM EDT2013-05-18 04:02:20 GMT
The Charlotte Bobcats are in the process of changing their name to "Hornets," a source with knowledge of the situation told CBSSports.com's Will Brinson, including arranging digital assets that wouldMore >>
The Charlotte Bobcats are in the process of changing their name to "Hornets," a source with knowledge of the situation told CBSSports.com's Will Brinson, including arranging digital assets that would allow a return to their original nickname.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 4:48 AM EDT2013-05-18 08:48:42 GMT
The University City Division along with the Major Crash Investigation Unit hosted a DWI Checking Station Friday night until Saturday morning. The location was between the 400 and 700 blocks of W. MallardMore >>
The University City Division along with the Major Crash Investigation Unit hosted a DWI Checking Station Friday night until Saturday morning.More >>
A 16-year-old girl making her first solo drive died when her vehicle slammed into a semi. Sources tell KCTV5 that she was texting at the time of the crash.More >>
I have been to protests before. In the early 70's the anti-war movement was winding down but still active just as the "Impeach Nixon" rallies started gaining steam.
In those protests I was just an observer, a college student walking by and stopping to watch the crowd for a few minutes.
Protests were part of the culture back then. Anyone (showing my age now) from that era will tell you the sights they saw on TV of all the anti-war protests, the violence at the DNC in Chicago in 1968 and the shootings at Kent State.
As the 70's wore on that type was just a memory. It was not part of the rallies of the new decade.
As a journalist, covering a protest requires more than just stopping for a few minutes. It means getting in the middle to find out why the people are upset and what they hope to gain.
It also means always thinking of the "what ifs."
Over the years I have covered many protests. Most of the time it involves a small group in front of some City Hall or business.
In Cabarrus County, in the late 70's, I had to dodge a few rocks thrown my way as I videotaped a march. I have been in the middle of opposing sides explaining their positions quite vocally to each other. For the most part though, they were all peaceful.
Coming to Charlotte for the DNC protest march on Sunday brought up those "what if" thoughts again. Thousands were expected to march. Anything could happen.
So on this hot day on the pavement amidst the towers of Charlotte I was loaded down with gear.
I had my camera and a special microwave feeding station strapped to my back. It would allow the video to be sent back live as I would walk among the protesters.
But I had more than the gear. A special water system was also strapped on my back so I would have something to drink. I also carried something else: a gas mask. I had to be prepared for anything. I could not forget those images from the DNC of '68.
As the protesters turned the corner onto Stonewall street and headed to my position I turned the transmitter on and walked right into the chanting crowd.
It turned out it was not one protest but a collection of many.
There were groups against coal, others against capitalism. Some were shouting about healthcare while others wanted free college money, housing money, and more.
While the hundreds were unified in their exercise of free speech, the conglomeration of causes seemed to water down any unified message.
I asked several if they thought their views were being heard. They thought so they said, but even if not, they felt good about having a chance to speak out.
With the streets lined with law enforcement officers from across the southeast, the march moved slowly but deliberately onward lasting several hours.
The heat started to take its toll and some marchers dropped out as the crowd turned the final leg and headed back to where they started. Many said they were ready to get out of the heat, get something cool to drink and relax after a long day of marching.
In that respect I agreed with every one of them. It had been a hot and long march.
But it was a peaceful march. This was not Chicago '68. This was Charlotte 2012. Four more days to go.