Monday, October 17, 2011

Occupy Charlotte: In Their Own Words: 'He got laid off ... had to declare bankruptcy'

Posted By on Mon, Oct 17, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Bank of Americas headquarters tower in the distance as the Oct. 8 march begins
  • Rhiannon Fionn
  • Bank of America's headquarters tower in the distance as the Oct. 8 march begins

As promised in an earlier post, CL continues to bring you voices from the occupation of Charlotte — individual participants, in their own words, talking about why they joined the local Occupy movement.

Cole Pettus traveled with his brother to Gaffney, S.C., from Orlando, Fla. for his brother's National Guard active duty weekend and decided to join Occupy Charlotte's march on Bank of America. He spent most of the first night of the occupation with Charlotte's occupiers in an effort to learn more about the movement so he can take what he learned back to Orlando and help the movement there. But he didn't just observe — he volunteered, taking the minutes for the General Assembly held the evening of Oct. 8.

His story is a sad one. His father had a good job. The family bought a plot of land and a double-wide trailer. Then his father lost his job and both he and his wife took two jobs to pay the bills. But the strain eventually became too much, and the couple divorced. In an effort to "not be a burden" on his parents, Cole dropped out of high school to work.

"My dad has been working at a job in South Carolina for about 12 years — or he had been, and he got laid off. And he was making about $100,000 a year at that job," he said.

Listen to Cole, in his own words:

Further reading:
24 Hours with Occupy Charlotte
Occupy Charlotte: Working Out the Glitches
CMPD holds Occupy Charlotte press conference
Listen to voices from Wednesday's #OccupyUNCC
Who are the 99 percent?
Oct. 1: The birth of Occupy Charlotte

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