Hundreds of people from all across Western North Carolina congregated at Sylva’s Bridge Park this Wednesday. They were there for many causes, from supporting public education to restoration of voting rights. The “Taking the Dream Home Rally” in Sylva was just one of 13 gatherings of people across the state of North Carolina in celebration of the anniversary of the famous “I Have a Dream” speech given by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The rally also was an extension of the Moral Monday protests held earlier this year in Raleigh. The rally placed large emphasis on a recently passed voting law which requires residents to show identification before being able to vote.
Many protesters say that this law is regressive and a bid to keep certain people from being able to vote. Organizers of the rally helped register people to vote as well as handed out information about how the people may be affected by the new voting law. Civil Rights era songs were sung by people on and off the stage. Organizers reported expressed plans to focus the energy of these protests into the next voting period.