Tags:Full announcement below:
"Occupy Asheville" will "officially" kick off this Saturday, October 1, 2011, at 11 am in front of Jubilee Church on Wall St in Asheville, NC, with a memorial service for Troy Davis, in conjunction with his funeral in Savannah, Georgia occurring at the same time, and thereafter from 1pm onward, we will launch our local “occupation” to stand in solidarity with protests in New York, and across the nation and world. At 2pm Occupy Asheville will convene a "General Assembly" in Pritchard Park.
There is a great people's movement afoot in the entire country, yet, most people are completely unaware. "OccupyWallStreet" is a protest occupation that has been going on for 14 days in New York's Liberty Square. Protesters are streaming live as the world is watches, although there has been little mainstream media coverage.
https://occupywallst.org/ and http://www.livestream.com/globalrevolution
Solidarity Occupations have sprung up all over the country, including Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, London, and elsewhere globally. These protesters are demanding economic justice and the end to corporate pillaging and raping of our people's, earth and democracy.
A groundswell of concerned citizens in Asheville have joined together through social media to launch a solidarity “occupation” of Asheville.
MORE THAN 1500 PEOPLE JOINED THE LOCAL FACEBOOK GROUP, @OCCUPYWALLSTREETASHEVILLE, IN THE FIRST 48 HOURS, AND IT CONTINUES TO GROW.....
OCCUPY ASHEVILLE stands in solidarity with those occupying Wall Street in New York City to protest corporate greed and occupation of our government and economic system. This is a people's movement designed to take power back to the 99% of people who no longer feel our politics or economics is working.
Asheville will be a 100% peaceful protest, with community, drum circles, singing, speaking, candlelight vigils, typical Asheville style. Participants will follow all City Ordinances, which as set forth below, require only that pickers not impede public access. Merchants on the Wall Street corridor are excited about featuring local community owned models rather than the greed and abuse of Wall Street, NYC.
We launch our Asheville Occupation by celebrating the life and sacrifice of Troy Davis, who was executed by the State of Georgia last week despite international calls to halt his execution due to vast doubts of his guilt. Starting at 11 am, we will hold a memorial service for Troy in conjunction with his funeral being held in Savannah, Georgia at the same time. Please plan to be there at 11 am to honor Troy, hold vigil (bring candles) and protest our government's ultimate authority to kill it's citizens, even when they know they are likely innocent.
After the memorial, we will have introductory speakers to set the tone for Asheville's occupation, which is expected to be ongoing. Jennifer Foster, activist Attorney and spearhead behind Occupy Asheville will share her vision of what justice looks like for Asheville, including recent corruption uncovered in the Buncombe County justice system. Legal points and analysis regarding the basis of corporate control over our political and economic systems will be explored. Other speakers will include Howard Hanger, leader of Jubillee! and music by Daniel Barber, music director at Jubillee. All are welcome and there will be time allotted for key people to share their vision of what is Occupy Asheville.
Thereafter, at 2 pm, we will convene a General Assembly in Pritchard Park for further decision-making and leadership. Blue Ridge Pride will be ongoing in Pack Square from 12-5 on Saturday and we are expected to march to join our brothers and sisters in their noble cause for human rights and equality under the law.
Central to the message and intent of Occupy Asheville is also musical celebration of freedom and the massive awakening and change occurring all over the world in Solidarity with the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests in NYC. Come prepared on Saturday and thereafter to drum, sing, dance, chat, freestyle, and bring truth in the way only that music can. If you have a drum or other percussion instrument, please bring it with you.
THE REASONS BEHIND OCCUPY ASHEVILLE
The reasons behind the Occupy Asheville solidarity event is simple. It is a groundswell, a people's movement, to say: “Hey, there is something seriously wrong with our Country, and we aren't sitting around silent anymore with our heads in the sand.”
The reasons for this sentiment varies widely with each individual, but one thing is clear, the majority of the people are controlled, abused, and exploited by the upper 1%. We are the 99%. Most people do not realize the situation they are in. That is because the corporate media controls what you hear and what you think. It is time for people to wake up and to think for themselves, do their own research. Many have no choice, as they plunge into poverty and lives unravel around them. Desperate times, call for desperate measures.
We believe the root of our decline as a society is the lack of any check on corporate interests. Corporations are created by the State, would not exist for their charter, yet they are not required to account for health, safety or welfare of the people, the planet, or animals. Rather, their only purpose is making as much money as possible.
Corporations have blatantly raped and pillaged our planet and seek to destroy human welfare, and even life. BP has poised our Gulf. The Japanese nuclear industry has contaminated the Pacific Ocean with radiation, to what extent, we don't even know. The pharmaceutical and medical industries keep us sick and medicated, and the prison industrial complex lobbies to incarcerate as many people as possible, especially the black and poor. We allow our government to take human life, and we inject religion to deny the fundamental right to marriage to a large segment of our society. The Great Industrial Hemp coup of 1937 prevented a massive domestic agricultural industry from emerging in this time of economic need.
Just about every system in this Country is corrupted. We believe it is time for structural Constitutional change. Boliva recently grafted the natural rights of the planet, animals and plants into their Constitution. At a minimum, our Constitution needs to be amended to change the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Citizens United v. F.E.C. , which held that corporations are “persons” for election law purposes. Even the U.S. Supreme Court has been infiltrated.
We are in an age of awakening; a time of great change. It is an honor to be alive at this time in history. To create massive social change, every person needs to give a little. With unified participation, we can restore democracy of the people.
REASONS FOR THE TROY DAVIS MEMORIAL AND LOCAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
Asheville stands in a unique position to positively affect this national movement and debate. The very next day after Troy Davis was executed as innocent, the North Carolina Innocence Commission, the only one in the country, found three Buncombe County men completely innocent for murder and released them immediately from the Buncombe County Jail after serving a long ten years.
These so-called “Guiding Light 3” pled guilty upon threat of the death penalty, but ten years later, their attorneys found a suppressed video tape of the convenience store shooting. Unbelievably, the shooters' faces had been taped over with an episode of the soap opera, “Guiding Light,” within two hours after the tape arrived in the possession of the Buncombe County Sheriff's Department. No, this is not fiction. Three Buncombe County men were convicted for a murder they did not commit while the Buncombe County Sheriff's office framed them with a soap opera, evidence that was withheld by our DA's office.
In addition, the Asheville Police Department has been rocked with criminal scandal when it was discovered that large amounts of drugs, guns and money turned up “missing” from the evidence room and many large-scale drug trafficking cases had to be dismissed. Our Police Chief, Hogan, immediately “retired.” The SBI and independent auditors were called in and are expected to issue preliminary findings in coming weeks.
Other instances of local police and prosecutorial misconduct include racially targeting a Mexican man with trafficking 90 lbs of “tortilla dough,” (also, true story), and the random, unwarranted brutality of local musician Juan Holliday, as well as increasing excessive force and illegal searches, seizures and arrests. Anyone familiar with our local criminal justice system, as myself, can testify to the corruption in both law enforcement and prosecution. We have several bad apples that need to be removed, and to support our exemplary police officers, of which there are many.
Asheville must come together to educate itself about our local corruption and demand its end, as we stand ready to employ a new Asheville Police Chief.
The execution of Troy Davis was a clear human rights violation, as leaders from all over the world strenuously called for it's halt. Seven of the nine witnesses recanting ever implicating Troy, one of the remaining two was the real killer. Pages of affidavits revealed police intimidation and threats to implicate Troy. Anyone with any sense could read those affidavits and their corroborating details and immediately see police misconduct against a black man led to Troy's conviction and ultimately execution by the State of Georgia.
As the spectacular timing suggests, North Carolina, and, in particular, Buncombe County, hold a key towards preventing wrongful convictions and ending execution of the innocent in the future, and perhaps ending the death penalty all together. The North Carolina Innocence Commission worked. The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles did not.