Pedestrians in uptown Charlotte were in for a surprise when they stopped to answer a routine question this Saturday: “Have you seen this person? He’s wanted for committing crimes in our community.”
Hundreds of Charlotteans and local police found themselves swept up in a manhunt-style game of “Cowboys vs. Corporations,” organized by local RAN activists to mark the two-year anniversary of the Citizens United supreme court decision. As a Western-themed people’s posse pursued the elusive “Mr. BoA,” passing out Wanted posters along the way, the absurdity of corporate personhood was not lost on spectators, many of whom were startled into laughter by the activists’ antics.
Photos by John Duffy.
While the game was simple and easy to replicate, it was quite effective at shattering the barriers between participants and spectators. Here’s how it worked:
We set game boundaries of 4×3 city blocks, and restricted the movement of players to public property. After a willing activist donned a giant Bank of America logo for a headpiece and slipped off into uptown Charlotte, the hunt was on. RAN activists were divided into several posses and then fanned out, canvassing police and pedestrians for tips on where the bankster scoundrel had gone. After 20 minutes of searching and a protracted footrace, “Mr. BoA” was apprehended and brought to face justice at the Occupy Charlotte encampment. The victorious posse members were rewarded with gift certificates donated by the Common Market, a locally owned, locally sourced delicatessen.
We had so much fun celebrating public space and challenging corporate power, we’re making plans to recreate the event in the near future. We heartily recommend that you round up a local posse and pursue some corporate bad guys yourself, particularly during business hours. Contact me for materials, game rules, and more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.