By DNC In-house WBT Reporter
Police and about 100 protesters stood their ground in uptown today in the first confrontation of the Democratic convention.
The two-hour confrontation began as protesters led an unauthorized march from Marshall Park, where Occupy Charlotte has camped since Saturday.
The march, which began with a crowd of more than 200, ran into a wall of police bicycles at the intersection of Stonewall and Caldwell Streets near the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
"Let us pass!" the marchers began chanting.
The two sides stared at each other for about 25 minutes when police began tightening the ring of bicycles around the protesters.
"This is unnecessary," said protester Adam Price of Winston-Salem. "We're not violent, we're not going to be violent. We just want our voices heard."
Over the next 90 minutes, protesters shouted obscenities at police, pitched a tent to see how many could fit inside (13), and waited out a brief afternoon shower.
Shortly before 3 p.m., police told the protesters, whose numbers had dwindled to a few dozen by then, they could continue their march on the sidewalk of Stonewall Street, as long was it was peacefully.
"We're going to let them keep moving," Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief Rodney Monroe said.
One person was arrested almost as soon as the march arrived at the police barricade. John Penley, a 60-year-old veteran from Asheville, was charged with trying to cross a police barricade.