Swain County’s new Regional Business Education and Training facility was alive with people who came to celebrate Western North Carolina’s commemoration of the National Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Over seventy-five people of all generations, from three WNC counties and as far away as Charlotte, attended the afternoon events.
• “Craft Court” (all age participants created a MLK wall mural; youngsters had their faces painted)
• GLOBOCORP - a satirical skit by a OccupyWNC cast (three performances)
• “Film Festival” (economic and environmental documentaries)
• Booths sponsored by civic organizations lined the hallway.
The purpose of the final event was for participants to grasp that legislation and court decisions have affirmed corporate personhood at the expense of universal human rights. Participants reading 53 cards from three historical timelines of RIGHTS and PRIVILEGES.
1. "Personhood” law granted to corporations 2. Rights gained by the people through various movements 3. Decisions which have moved backwards the civil rights of various groups of human persons— except for those with "White privilege."
The presentation was moderated by Allen Lomax representing the event sponsor, OccupyWNC, and was narrated by Fredrick Bryson, one of Bryson City’s new council members.
Dr. Lomax’s concluding remarks were followed by an open discussion period. Participants spoke of being moved and disturbed by what they had heard—of how they might inform the broader public with similar presentations Another need spoken of—the need to change people’s hearts—is especially ironic, an audience member pondered, when the overwhelming issue is the all-powerful corporate giant—with no heart to change.
Two days prior, the top third of Swain County's "Smoky Mountain Times" broadcasted news of the upcoming event and the next edition carried the story with a photograph. We advertised in three county papers, put out fliers in English and Spanish, announced on several websites and Facebook.
Our thanks to Janice Inabinett for all her work bringing the event together and to Avram Friedman for this excellent documentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA0wXjpJhbA