What happens when over 100,000 committed activists unchain their imaginations and take action? The 1% is about to find out.
Last weekend, March 24 and 25, over 60 North Carolinians gathered in Charlotte to prepare for a season of nonviolent direct action targeting the 1%. The gathering reflected the diversity of the 99% movement: participant ages ranged from 17 to 81 and represented the whole geographic range of North Carolina, from the mountains to the sea. The North Carolina trainers joined a cast of 1,285 individuals who received the nonviolent direct action training nationwide in a single weekend.
The training was the first step in an ambitious effort to train over 100,000 Americans for the 99% spring surge. Each activist trained last weekend will go on to lead a nonviolent direct action training in their own communities in early April. Activist James Tyson of Charlotte summed up the mood: “I’m very excited to be part of a much larger movement and a powerful awakening of consciousness. Time to go kick some corporate butt!”
Significantly, the North Carolina 99% Spring training was held in the Area 15 community center within view of Bank of America’s corporate tower, just over a mile from the location where the bank’s shareholder meeting will be held on May 9. Activists from around the county, including Rainforest Action Network, are focusing their efforts on the event, when the 99% will descend on uptown Charlotte to hold Bank of America accountable for investing in polluting coal plants, foreclosing on American families, and funding climate change.
Charlottean Laurel Green reports: “I met neighbors I didn’t even know who are similarly energized for actions here in Charlotte during the Bank of America shareholders meeting.” In preparation for the May 9 mobilization, North Carolina’s 99% Spring trainers engaged in exercises simulating nonviolent direct action outside of the Bank of America shareholder meeting, as well as inside Bank of America branches. With regard to the coming activity, Jim Senter of Rougemont, NC, said “Bank of America is not going to know what hit them. Once the 100,000 people hit the ground this summer, every branch in the country is going to be a site of creative action that will be a joy to behold.” Amber Williams of Asheville, NC added, “I hope Bank of America is taking notes, because we have our demands and we know how to make them a reality. We are giving them the opportunity to either use our money for good or step down.”
Stand by for action and training updates as the 99% spring continues to grow in North Carolina and across the nation.