Police, protesters end standoff near convention

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Occupy Demonstrators and police stand in a downtown street during an unscheduled protest march, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012, in Charlotte, N.C. The Democratic National Convention begins today. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

A two-hour standoff between police and protestors defused Tuesday afternoon when police let demonstrators onto a sidewalk near the Charlotte Convention Center, where the DNC is set to begin this evening, the Charlotte Observer reports.

Nearly 300 police officers had blocked off an intersection in front of about 200 marchers who assembled during an unscheduled protest Tuesday. Many in the crowd demanded the release of Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army soldier suspected of leaking information to the website WikiLeaks, according to the newspaper. A march organizer — a North Carolina veteran wrapped in an American flag — was arrested as he tried to cross a police line.

Other demonstrators who arrived over the Labor Day weekend advocated for workers’ rights and slammed the banking industry, Charlotte’s WSOC reports, in a gallery of protest signs. Some sported “I heart Obamacare” pins, while others criticized the White House’s stance on Guantanamo and overseas drone strikes.

Tuesday’s demonstration was slightly larger than a protest late Monday night, when about 100 protesters tested the host city’s police presence.

Meanwhile, two people arrested during a Sunday protest have been released on bond, Charlotte’s WBTV reports. Anna Marie Wright, 23, was arrested after police allegedly found her carrying a knife and a mask. Chris Wright Stephens, 22, was arrested shortly afterward for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and assaulting a government official.

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