Charlie Cotter hated to lose. Even more than she hated being called Charlotte.
The protest scene had turned to utter pandemonium, and Charlie mostly loved that. Newberry Mining had been a worthy target for her rage: three years of copper mining in New Guinea and Indonesia had been an ecological nightmare, with polluted rivers and cyanide-filled landfill poisoning the planet for years to come. They paid fines sure, but with the 100 billion dollar market capitalisation, the paltry few millions didn’t seem to matter.
Of course Charlie didn’t know what if any effect her little action would have, but it felt good anyway.
“Newberry has poisoned the planet, all for its shareholder profit,” she screamed, taking particular delight in emphasising the word shareholder. “Another crime squarely at the feet of shareholders!”
Her small but vocal crowd of around 20 fellow activists screamed and bellowed their agreement. In front of them, a row of a dozen uniformed police officers arrayed themselves in front of the company headquarters, silent and imposing.
Charlotte “Charlie” Cotter was a petite young woman, oddly intimidating in her own way, with short, dark hair that hung around her shoulders, thin arms and legs, and a spring in her step that erupted for every worthy cause. Some would have called her a professional protestor, but Charlie balked at such descriptions, especially since she wasn’t quite out of high school, and didn’t really need any profession. She planned for university of course next year, but saw it as a time to advance her activism more than anything else. Charlie yelled again, a slight gravelly roar in her voice that she always noticed after she’d been screaming for an hour.
“Newberry must be made to truly pay for crimes against mother earth!” Charlie said, slower this time. The crowd roared in agreement again. They were a motley bunch — for all of Charlie’s hand-me-down and op shop clothing, she was probably still the best dressed member of the group.