Four people arrested at Bank of America demonstration
Posted May 9, 2012
Updated July 2, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Four people were arrested Wednesday as they tried to force their way into the annual Bank of America shareholders' meeting in Charlotte, and police used a new ordinance to declare the gathering an extraordinary event subject to special restrictions.
Hundreds of people gathered on the streets as dozens of police officers worked to contain the protest.
The protesters marched down Tryon Street from the bank's headquarters to Bank of America Stadium.
"We need jobs. We need housing. We need health care," protester Amaju Dillahunt, of Durham, said. "We're joining the thousands of people who've come out here today to send that message to the bank."
"I'm concerned about the investments that Bank of America makes in companies that produce weapons, specifically cluster bombs and nuclear weapons," protester Betsy Criten of Durham said. "To be a corporate good citizen, they shouldn't be investing in those sorts of things."
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Major Jeff Estes said the four people arrested were charged with crossing a police line, a misdemeanor. He also said the protest was peaceful.
Johnny Rosa of Framingham, Mass., was one of those arrested. Rosa said before he was taken into custody that his home had been foreclosed and he wanted to tell shareholders the foreclosure was wrong because he wanted to make payments.
Charlotte police used a new ordinance allowing the city to declare public gatherings as extraordinary events. That allowed authorities to designate areas where people aren't allowed to carry backpacks, magic markers and other items.
The measures were adopted in advance of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
Estes says police didn't confiscate any of those materials at the demonstration.