Ok ok...I know that all of my blog fans are patiently awaiting my input on the course of events from today. Alright, maybe I don’t have fans, and I am almost certain that nobody is waiting to hear my input. Nonetheless, here it is. Today began early but began great. We had the amazing opportunity to share a morning meal with the Democratic Party of Georgia. They continue to embody the spirit of reaching out and taking notice of the youth who want to be involved. The breakfast was not simply a breakfast, I had the chance to speak with Brian Lazaro of WSBTV; which proved to be an experience that will be hard to surmount. In addition, I had the chance to interview a few delegates and really gain some insight into why they feel the need to be politically active. The responses they gave; not only served to further my research, but it also served as motivation. It is inspiring to be in the presence of people who are genuinely vested in their community and its future. To make things even better, all of this happened before eight in the morning! After leaving the breakfast, the real work began.
Moreover, today provided me with the opportunity to really “pound the pavement.” This was my first, true experience doing field research. Inspiration! Never more has an opportunity been both challenging and rewarding. I was able to amass a number of quality interviews from activists on the streets of Charlotte. Occupy activists, Code Pink activists, Planned Parenthood activists, and Pro-life activists were all in attendance. For these activists groups, attendance was only the beginning. They turned out in mass to rally, chant, argue, and plead their cases to those sharing Charlotte’s sidewalks. Most were willing to be interviewed and I am thankful for such, but I feel that there is an aspect to today that supersedes the great interviews and furthering into research project; that was the atmosphere. To be in the midst of elected officials, celebrities, protestors, and spectators was an experience that cannot be replaced. I witnessed a standoff between the protestors of Planned Parenthood and those who were pro-life supporters. The police forces made similar assumptions to the rest of us in that such a standoff could result in serious chaos. As a result, reinforcements were called in to lend support. Not to be outdone, Occupy sympathizers held a protest of their own. They simply blocked off the intersection; using it as a free speech zone. Never before have I seen such a mix of Americans all wanting the same things and also wanting so many different things simultaneously. My hopes are that the four plus hours I spent doing research today provide me with a great research base. The memories made will certainly last a lifetime. Day two of the convention was one that set the standard. I think Day three will continue the trend. I am posting “pound the pavement” pictures and video in the morning to better illustrate my experiences.