Report from the Streets of Charlotte, Thursday Night:
Hundreds of protesters shut down downtown Charlotte, NC demanding justice for Keith Lamont Scott. (Photo: Revolution/revcom.us)
Carl Dix speaking to the protest Thursday night: “Don't tell us to wait for the results of an investigation because the investigation is a damn cover up." Follow @Carl_Dix who is on the ground in Charlotte now!
Third Night of Protest Shuts Down Downtown Charlotte: Justice for Keith Lamont Scott
September 22, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Hundreds of protesters demanding justice for Keith Lamont Scott–the Black man murdered by Charlotte, North Carolina police on September 20–shut down downtown Charlotte tonight for over five hours.
In advance of tonight’s protest, authorities made all kinds of threats. They called out the National Guard, threatening they would attack protesters as they had the night before. But defying these police-state threats, protesters–with right on their side–were determined and defiant.
Starting with about 150 people, the protest grew to well over 500 people. The crowd was a majority Black people, and about a third white–overwhelmingly college-age youth. There were students from University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC) and UNC Greensboro and other area schools. A couple UNCC students joined Carl Dix of the Revolutionary Communist Party in getting out hundreds of the “What Time Is It? Time and Past Time to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution” leaflet in the midst of the struggle.
The march started at Romaire Beardon Park. This is where the NFL Carolina Panthers stadium is located, in the heart of the business district. Protesters took over the streets from the start. They marched to the Omni Hotel, in an upscale part of downtown. This is where, the night before, authorities tear-gassed and arrested people, and then had the gall to attack the protesters–some of whom courageously defended themselves, as “violent.” (See “Reality Check” at www.revcom.us)
People were chanting “No Justice, No Peace, No Racist Police!” When the march got to the City Government building, the National Guard was deployed with camouflage, assault rifles, and a Humvee to intimidate protesters. But marchers surged up the stairs, some going nose-to-nose with these armed enforcers of a system whose police murder Black people with impunity. There was controversy within the march over whether this was the right thing to do, but there were people in the march who did think it was the thing to do.
The marchers then went to the police station. Here, as at the government building, people chanted, “Release the tape! Release the tape!” Authorities are refusing to release a video they have of the murder of Keith Lamont Scott, which attorneys for his family say shows Scott peacefully walking away from police, with his hands at his side, when he was shot and killed.
Next stop was the downtown Charlotte prison. As the march approached the prison, prisoners on a high-level tier began opening and closing window shades in a sign of support and protest. People on the streets chanted, “We see you! We love you!” The window-shade protest spread to other parts of the prison, and in some cases prisoners were able to hold up their fists in the windows.
A young Black man in the march said, “We are out here because we are under attack from every direction.” When he was told the mayor had ordered a midnight curfew, he said, “No, we’re not gonna stop protesting for a curfew—no justice no peace.” When asked if there was going to be “violence” he said, go ask the National Guard—“We have signs, they have guns.”
As we post this, it is midnight Thursday. But hundreds of people remain the street, defying the curfew downtown. Stay tuned.
If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.