CHARLOTTE, N.C. - As many 5,000 protesters are expected for a “March on Wall Street South” this Sunday at Frazier Park. Many in the crowd will be young, unemployed and angrily shouting for change.
"I am so impressed that they are so young and are willing to go out and try to make a change," said Beth Henry.
Henry, 58, is a grandmother and a former corporate attorney who said stereotypes of the protesters are unfair. Henry will be joining in on the march on Sunday.
"The issue that has gotten me involved is climate change," said Henry. "And the threat of more and more weather disasters and the impact of that on my children, grandchildren and everybody else's children and grandchildren."
Luis Rodriguez, 34, also said it was unfair and “narrow-minded” to portray those protesting -- specifically, members of the Occupy movement -- as anything less than concerned citizens.
"These people are literally out here fighting for their country every day," said Rodriguez. "That mass of people is made up of homeowners, workers, business owners... people who are highly intelligent and want to talk about these issues."
Rodriguez, who works for Action NC, said his main issue is with the banking industry. He only became a protester after working as a foreclosure specialist. He said he heard horror stories from victims of predatory lending.
"I saw people losing their homes, trying to work with the banks. And the banks were just saying, 'No, not going to do it at all. We really don't care about your situation,'" said Rodriguez.
He said he's seen the growth of the Occupy movement and believes the DNC will be an even greater opportunity for protesters to have their concerns heard.
When Eyewitness News asked Henry what she realistically hoped for, she said she wasn't overly optimistic about short-term change.
"Honestly, I don't have a lot of hope that politicians will be listening," said Henry. "I think it's going to take some time, but hopefully, this builds a people's movement."