Though many of the protesters at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte are the exact same people that were at the Republican National convention in Tampa a week ago, there is already more aggression and tension between them and law enforcement.
The police presence in Tampa was significant and visible everywhere but was also relaxed and friendly. In Charlotte, the mood of law enforcement seems more grim as the protesters have also adopted a more in-your-face attitude.
The group of about 200 protestors, some wearing black bloc hankerchiefs over their faces, was surrounded by an equally large contingent of of police.
One protester took a direct approach to jeering and mocking the police. The authorities silently stared down the scruffy, bearded radical with an anarchy symbol painted on his cape as he attempted to get them to respond.
Nearby, Code Pink organizer Medea Benjamin gave an angry speech about Wikileaks suspect Bradley Manning to an empty field, cordoned off in the “free speech area” as a nearby timer counted down the amount of time until she had to relinquish the stage. When Code Pink’s time was up, an anti-abortion group took over the stage to speak to the empty field.
More protests are planned for Wednesday and for the rest of the convention.