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Occupy movement thinking outside the tent

Posted February 25, 2012

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— The Occupy movement turned a corner Saturday in Raleigh with an event designed to draw protesters from across the state of North Carolina to the capital.

The Occupy NC Statewide General Assembly began with a march from the Occupy Raleigh camp at 11 N. West St. and proceeded to the grounds of the state capitol. The day included workshops in which participants shared their knowledge about political protest, cyber-outreach and civil rights.

Organizers hoped the weekend gathering would focus more attention on their concerns about economic inequality and less on their living arrangements.

Most of the encampments are gone. Some were concluded by the activists, like those in Chapel Hill who continue to have meetings on the site of their old camp, and others were dispersed by police, as in Charlotte and Asheville.

"A lot of the occupations that have taken down their encampments because too much of their energy and time have been focused on maintaining the encampment and not doing action and not doing important things," said Alanna Davis of Occupy Chapel Hill.

occupy raleigh Occupiers combine statewide efforts

Antonio Rahman of Occupy Raleigh said the camping is not the point. "We have people that only stay here a few nights here and there when they can but otherwise have jobs or school or whatever," he said.

"We are here to say that our government is here to represent 'we the people,' not we the corporation, not we the banks," Rahman said. "Apparently our Congresspeople are not getting the message."

The Raleigh camp, one of the longest-standing of the Occupy movement, was in danger of being shut down last week when the landlord asked occupiers to come up with liability insurance. The tenants pay $400 per month to rent the lot on West Street. Insurance would cost another $700 per year.

Even if they have to pack up their tents, organizers say events like Saturday's will serve as a reminder of their message.

"We're getting ready for a new phase that will build Occupy momentum and shine an even brighter spotlight on economic inequality and the damage brought by corporate greed," said Occupy Raleigh's Kurt Zehnder.

Jim Braman, with Occupy Raleigh, said about 150 people attended Saturday's events.


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  • jwcobbnc Feb 27, 2012

    These occupiers only represent 99% of those that wish to bankrupt and destroy America. They do not represent me, my family, or anyone that I know. The media should expose them for what they are. They want the government to force the redistribution of property and income from those that work to those that live in sloth. Those that live in the tents wish to punish those that work and reward those that do not.

  • piene2 Feb 27, 2012

    It is good to see the movement alive and well. Some nice media coverage is just the ticket.

  • cwmllc1952 Feb 27, 2012

    Your time would be better spent talking to elected Politicians than what you are doing and working to get people elected who would make a change.As a property owner NEVER is it alright to inhabit or dump on my property.

  • scott34 Feb 27, 2012

    these bums need to get a job!i am one of the so called rich,if you go by obama standards. i pay 38% of my income in taxes. is that not enough. please america,vote this bum out of the white house and save our economy and all the small businesses of america.

  • 5Rs Feb 27, 2012

    " I can't understand people who believe that somehow the richest 1% of Americans and the corporations who operate in the USA are working in the interest of the 99%" - edith

    Please stop and read what you wrote. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett employ tens of thousands of people who earn good livings. Your power company, restaurant chains, and many other industries all work to provide you goods and services and employ hundreds of thousands of people. Please stop listening to those who would lead you to believe those companies are evil.

  • 5Rs Feb 27, 2012

    "And your data source for this little generalization is where?" - Tcheuchter

    Don't need any polls to tell us this. They keep electing the politicians who give them the freebies. Now 50% of kids are on "free" lunches, more and more going on "free" breakfasts, now starting "free" dinners. Seniors have "free" medical care, single women with children get "free" housing,etc. Where have you been?

  • Homesteader79 Feb 27, 2012

    Why is the media still covering this "movement"? It is SO over with.

  • tarheelgrad1998 Feb 27, 2012

    Sure, edith. They want you to think they're representing the 99%, but in reality they're representing themselves. As in, what can they get for themself. Nothing more.

  • aetius476 Feb 27, 2012

    "People who dismiss or demean the Occupy movement apparently don't understand that the Occupy protesters (both camping and non-camping) are representing THEM and standing up for them." - Edith wharton

    Edith, they certainly do not stand for or represent me or my interests. I am not wealthy, I work everyday, struggle to save, and pay my taxes.

    I do not agree with the stance of OWS that government redistribution of wealth and the creation of a socialist welfare state is in the best interest of me or the true middle class.

    I do not agree that the destruction and illegal occupation of private property is a legitimate form of protest.

    I do not agree with the demonization, threatening, spitting on, or attacking law enforcement officers.

    I do not support illegal drug use in public, defecation and urination on public property, creation of filthy, unsanitary conditions in public parks and monuments.

    No, you or they, do not speak for me. In fact, I would say you don't represent even a fra

  • mep Feb 27, 2012

    I'm part of the 99%... happy, content, and not envious in any way of those 1% big shots.