We all wait anxiously for the results of North Carolina's vote on Amendment One. Today, the nation and the rest of the world gets the opportunity to see how 'admirably' the democratic system works; perhaps future generations will look quizzically, or disbelievingly, upon this occasion where the rights of some individuals can be upheld or dismissed by popular vote, sort of like a contest for the most popular movie, or a surreal version of The Hunger Games, or a Shirley Jackson novella best left unspoken.
On Wednesday, North Carolina, or more specifically Charlotte, steps forth into the national spotlight again. The BofA (Bank of America) shareholders' meeting is scheduled for 10am in the BofA Center Auditorium, and protest groups comprised of community, labor and religious activists plan to demonstrate their dissatisfaction at this prominent bank, considered responsible by many for the unprecedented rate of foreclosures, the housing market crash, and of late, robo-signing. Some of the groups who plan to demonstrate are: N.C. Coalition Against Corporate Power which advocates for bank accountability, housing rights, and worker and immigrant rights. This group wants an end to BofA's financing of coal-fired power plants. Another group who call themselves the 99%, which includes several labor unions, the National People's Action, and MoveOn.org, wants a moratorium on all foreclosures, reduced rates on the current principal levied on struggling homeowners, and an end to questionable corporate tax practices. The Rainforest Action Network, which promotes environmental issues, is using this protest to bring attention to BofA's financing of the coal industry. Lastly, Occupy Charlotte, hopes to highlight the pervasive influence of private corporations on politics.
Quite a lot for the good folks in Charlotte to experience within a matter of days, yet I know that they will rise to the occasion and allow truth and love to triumph (over fear, greed, and apathy).
NOTE: According to the Charlotte Business Journal, BofA is the nation's second-largest bank with nearly $2 trillion in assets. It is based in Charlotte, where it employs 15,000 of its 278,000 workers.