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Seabreeze

Trade and Tryon and its new visitors

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I have noticed a new group in Charlotte that at lunchtime uptown commence to screaming about the impending doom that we are all to become, and how we have to seek redemption before the end of world or something. I wouldn't mention it if it wasn't becoming extremely consistent. It seems that for the past 3 months this has been going on on a daily basis, and I think it is a bit extreme. This wouldn't be tolerated if I was up there screaming about gay marriage or islamic prophesies. Why should people be screamed at on their lunchbreak? Do they need a permit for the loudspeakers that they often have?

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I don't work downtown any longer, but I remember there was a guy with a megaphone that did that same thing every day outside the Corporate Center a few years back. It was usually just one white guy (the preacher) and a black guy playing a boombox. I wonder if he's back with a new flock...

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It is a true sign that the city is becoming more interesting. College campuses, Mardi Gras, you name it...all have damnation preachers. In a number of colleges in NC, a fire and brimstone preacher preaches similar messages. His name is Gary Birdsong, and is known in Chapel Hill as the Pit Preacher, although he has other nicknames at other schools. He even has a wikipedia entry!

He does have a right to be there, but I think that the more people ignore him, the sooner he'll go on to something else.

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There's a guy that screams, I mean "preaches" at the base of the Belk Carillion at UNCC around 2:00 everyday. Annoying as hell.

BofA had installed speakers on the plaza that played loud classical music designed to ward off such people (i.e. the little guy from Sylva, NC who used to come down and scream at all the uptown workers that they were "whoremongers" at lunch hour everyday about 5 years ago). I guess they're going to have to turn it on again.

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Was the music drum on the first and third beat? That is perhaps proof that Bank of America Corporate Center is the Devil's Phallus! Repent, and place thy deposits at Wachovia.

;)

Does the UNCC preacher look like this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Birdsong

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I think they have been going at it for much longer than three months. I work in the BofA Plaza building, and I can actually hear them from my office. I believe that there are three separate individuals that you can find on any given day up and down Tryon.

There's the mid 50's white guy with the somewhat slobbery speech, who always wears short-sleeved button down shirts, and really sweats when the weather gets hot.

There is the man and woman who set up in front of the BofA Corporate Center. He uses a microphone and speaker to spread his message, and she just sits quietly by "minding" him.

I've recently noticed a new pair, a white and black guy, both in their 30's.

For entertainment purposes, I hope they are there during Speed Street.

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I think I read an article about this guy and his wife in the Rock Hill Herald. They just relocated to Rock Hill from Charlotte I believe.

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Was the music drum on the first and third beat? That is perhaps proof that Bank of America Corporate Center is the Devil's Phallus! Repent, and place thy deposits at Wachovia.

;)

Does the UNCC preacher look like this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Birdsong

Same guy. He 'visits' UNC Charlotte, NC State, and UNC Chapel Hill. He made his start at Chapel Hill I believe.

I've seen him though, he's quite crazy.

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I've debated him a bit, but it sure is an exercise in futility.

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No, that's not the guy I see at UNCC. The guy I've seen at the Belk Carillion is actually a handsome 20-something guy. He could pass for a frat boy.

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No, that's not the guy I see at UNCC. The guy I've seen at the Belk Carillion is actually a handsome 20-something guy. He could pass for a frat boy.

I've seen this guy too. The guy who dubone is talking about, Preacher Gary, as he is called, was there earlier in the year.

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I think they have been going at it for much longer than three months. I work in the BofA Plaza building, and I can actually hear them from my office. I believe that there are three separate individuals that you can find on any given day up and down Tryon.

There's the mid 50's white guy with the somewhat slobbery speech, who always wears short-sleeved button down shirts, and really sweats when the weather gets hot.

There is the man and woman who set up in front of the BofA Corporate Center. He uses a microphone and speaker to spread his message, and she just sits quietly by "minding" him.

I've recently noticed a new pair, a white and black guy, both in their 30's.

For entertainment purposes, I hope they are there during Speed Street.

It's really bad when you are walking to lunch. They can blow out your eardrum if you are not careful.

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We all believe in freedom of speech---it's one of the cornerstones of being an American:) It is almost a religion of our country, to be able to say what you please.

But if these people are shouting at passersby, using megaphones so loud as to be heard inside adjacent office buildings, and calling strangers "whoremongers" etc this seems to me to be crossing line from freedom of speech to harrassment and disturbing the peace!!!!

I guess it's difficult to enforce this stuff, because the police don't wanna be seen as anti-religion or anti-freedom of speech. But really, from what you folks are writing it sounds like unadulterated harrassment to me.

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We all believe in freedom of speech---it's one of the cornerstones of being an American:) It is almost a religion of our country, to be able to say what you please.

But if these people are shouting at passersby, using megaphones so loud as to be heard inside adjacent office buildings, and calling strangers "whoremongers" etc this seems to me to be crossing line from freedom of speech to harrassment and disturbing the peace!!!!

I guess it's difficult to enforce this stuff, because the police don't wanna be seen as anti-religion or anti-freedom of speech. But really, from what you folks are writing it sounds like unadulterated harrassment to me.

A group of us should all make signs that say "Shhhh!" and stand around them. :thumbsup:

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We would have street preachers all the time at The College of Charleston. I just ignore them. Although the school did protest when the megaphones could be heard inside classrooms during Finals. Operation Save America out of Concord shows up at every gay event we have in Charlotte and scream about damnation and we are quite used to it and bored by it. Several times a year there is someone screaming about hellfire in Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville.They may be annoying but thats free speech for you and at least it brings some interesting flavor to Uptown. Usually lunch rush on Tryon resembles breaktime for an adult prep school. Charlotte is surely making progress on diversity if we are attracting doomsayers!

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We do have freedom of speech in the US, but depending on the circumstances the government can regulate the time, manner and place in which one wants to exercise that right.

I wish Charlotte City Center Partners would get rid of those street preachers, along with other people who make working and living uptown unpleasant, such as the musicians at lunchtime who always seem to blare music when I'm in the middle of a stressful conference call. Does CCC Partners not realize that one major reason people have left cities for more tranquil suburbs is due to urban racket?

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Have any of you all ever tried calling the police when this clown is making too much noise? People get tickets all the time for blasting their car stereos. Even if the police can't get him for Public Disorderly Conduct or Disturbing the Peace, it seems like they should be able to nail him for a noise ordinance violation.

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The whole point of having a thriving diverse downtown that is not dominated by suits is including street music that some may not consider "racket". It should be regulated so its not an obvious nuisance but we need more street life and not less. The suburbs are exist for people who don't like it.

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The whole point of having a thriving diverse downtown that is not dominated by suits is including street music that some may not consider "racket". It should be regulated so its not an obvious nuisance but we need more street life and not less. The suburbs are exist for people who don't like it.

Good point. I agree that we need more street life in general. In my case, I work uptown, and there is a street musician who wants to play his music. What should happen- should I change jobs and take a pay cut (likely) so that I can work in the suburbs and avoid the street musician, or should the street musician simply turn down his amplifier so his music isn't as loud if he wants to play during business hours? From my perspective, the second option is the better one.

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Ah, Reverand Birdsong. I've talked with him on the UNC Asheville campus. Once his crowds have thinned out, he does level off quite a bit. I still disagree with what he does, but he does have the right to do as he pleases.I asked him how he makes money doing this. Apparently he is "sponsored" by churches around the state.

I know that UNCA has free speech zones where Birdsong was allowed to speak. He often had Campus Police near by in case the crowd got out of hand.Does Charlotte has certain free speech zones or is anywhere in public free for expression?

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In a number of colleges in NC, a fire and brimstone preacher preaches similar messages. His name is Gary Birdsong, and is known in Chapel Hill as the Pit Preacher, although he has other nicknames at other schools.

I used to see him at NC State. If you have on any attire that could be construed as different, you better be ready to be told you're going straight to hell. There's another fellow, who is probably in his 50's and has a NY/NJ accent, who preaches on Fayetteville St in DT Raleigh. If seen him other places as well. i just ignore these guys and walk along. Debating them only strengthens their resolve and brings them more attention, which is of course what they want.

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