Two arrested at DNC protest out on bond

Published: Sep. 2, 2012 at 4:17 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 2, 2012 at 4:17 PM EDT
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Photo courtesy: DNChic (
Photo courtesy: DNChic (
Chris Wright Stephens
Chris Wright Stephens

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Monday morning, officials confirmed to WBTV Anna Wright and Chris Stephens were released on bond Sunday and did not have to appear in court Monday morning. Both are scheduled to appear in October.

Wright and Stephens were the only two arrests Sunday as hundreds of protesters marched into Uptown Charlotte, ahead of the Democratic National Convention.

Police said Anna Marie Wright, 23, was arrested around 3 p.m. after she was caught with a mask and knife.

Chris Wright Stephens, 22, was arrested shortly after for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and assault on a government official. Both Wright and Stephens were originally scheduled to be in court Monday at 9 a.m.

The groups of protesters began to gather in Marshall Park starting late Saturday night.  More protesters showed up at Frazier Park around 9 a.m. Sunday morning, bringing supplies such as food and poster boards.

The march included groups such as March on Wall Street South, Occupy Charlotte and No Papers No Fear Ride for Justice.

"I think we sent a message hopefully," Barbara Bridges, a protester from Baltimore said.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe said about 750 people marched in the protest.

Imperialism...Capitalism...Feminism. The bank...the environment...the threat of war.

Protestors shouted about so many issues, it would be hard to relay them all. But Zana Alsous says that's life.

"There are no single issue movements because we do not lead single issue lives," she says. "I'm the daughter of immigrants. I'm in student loan debt, I care about the environment."

Children marched, and so did the elderly.

"We also have many diversities," one protester said. "That's okay. I accept that. That's alright. That's what makes the United States. "

But one thing everyone had in common: they're not happy with America right now.

"The tax and income inequality in this country is astronomical," another protester said.

Police chief Rodney Monroe was pretty happy though.

"We've had great communication. Great coordination with the organizers. Everything they said they intended to do they've done," Monroe said.

"We shared with them our strategy for the day. So I think as long as we can continue to communicate in such a way throughout the week, I think we're going to be pretty good."

Water and paper fans were being out to help people cope with the heat.

The groups gave speeches on Sunday morning, before the march.

Those protesters and others have a message for the city and convention organizers: "Regardless of any attempts to vilify protesters, regardless of any attempts to scare us away, we will be undeterred. We will show up en mass to raise the people's agenda," says Michael Zytkow of the Coalition to March on Wall Street South.

About 90 organizations were expected to be a part of the rally and march that started at 11 a.m. Sunday. Organizers say they were expecting thousands of people, but only an estimated 750 showed up.

Prior to the protest, organizers said some of the activists who have had confrontations with police at other conventions and marches may show up.

Ayende Alcala of Occupy Charlotte told WBTV, "We plan on coming in a way of peace and respect so we ask them to respect that for us".

March organizers say they're boycotting the city's free speech zone at Caldwell and Stonewall. Instead they have a permit for a rally at Frazier Park and then a 3-mile march along a route they crafted through Uptown... including stopping at Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Duke Energy.

After the march, some groups took to the sidewalks Uptown in hopes of influencing delegates attending nearby parties. Code Pink chanted about choosing people over politics. "We feel like if there wasn't so much big money in elections maybe we would have a government that was more about the people and supported health care and education," Co-Director Code Pink Rae Abileah said.

Protesters say they don't intend to fight with thousands of police who will be in the city. "I don't want viewers at home to be scared in any way. We've done this before, we fully intend to be peaceful, nonviolent and raise our voice, " says Zytkow.

Copyright 2012 WBTV. All rights reserved.