Thousands Expected To
Occupy Phoenix Oct. 15
Grassroots Protest Has Spring Up In Valley Of The Sun, Spurred Through Facebook, Twitter
The Occupy Phoenix Logo.
By John Guzzon
Modern Times Magazine
Oct. 7, 2011 — Supporters of the Wall Street protesters and Occupy Wall Street are organizing in Phoenix in hopes of creating an extended, active protest involving thousands of people beginning at noon, Oct. 15 at Cesar Chavez Plaza, 201 W. Washington Street., in downtown Phoenix.
“The OccupyPhoenix movement will be taking a stand against the corruption of our government, in solidarity with the millions who are demonstrating across the world in protest of the unjust actions of a criminal few who have abused our financial system, the trust of the American people, and people worldwide. All concerned people are encouraged to show up and be a part of history,” according to a press release from Occupy Phoenix.
The group organizing the meetings appears to be an organic, social media manifestation. Pages began appearing on Facebook about two weeks ago, and a Twitter account was activated at about nearly the same time.
The Twitter account is http://twitter.com/#!/occupyphoenix and the Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/occupyphoenix. A website has also been published, http://occupyphoenix.net/.
The Facebook page has more than 4,200 likes as of Oct. 7. The Twitter page has more than 2,100 followers. More than 1,500 have indicated on Facebook that they will attend the beginning of the protest on Saturday.
The press release issued today says the group represents all aspects of society that are concerned that government has been unduly influenced by Wall Street.
“Through the use of direct democracy, Occupy Phoenix is working to define and solve the problems of: an opaque and exclusive government, unduly influenced by a Wall Street which has lost its way, resulting in a state struggling to guarantee basic human rights. Everyone is invited to join this conversation about reforming how business and government operate,” according to the press release. “In the coming days and weeks, Occupy Phoenix will persist in advocating the need for change, defining the change we need, and reaching out to policy-makers, business leaders, and the people of our republic in this mission. The group consists of lawyers, public workers, students, teachers, and people from all walks of life marching in unity to create a social change."
Several organizational meetings have been held over the past several weeks as the movement gains momentum. A meet-up is scheduled for tonight at 6 p.m. at Conspire Cafe & Boutique, 901 N. 5th Street, Phoenix. According to the Occupy Phoenix Facebook page, a poster making-session is scheduled for Sunday at Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, from 2 to 7 p.m.
Workshops on non-violent protest have also been held, in hope of avoiding physical confrontations as have happened in New York City in recent days and weeks.
Organizers hope the protest will continue for several months after it begins Oct. 15. On the Facebook page for the event, the date range for the event runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 25. Protesters will actually take to the streets for the first time Oct. 14 as they march from the Downtown Phoenix Civic Space, 424 N. Central Ave., to Cesar Chavez Plaza.
Even though this event does not appear to have any central organizing nor does it have a traditional platform of ideas, the over-arching theme emanating from the Wall Street protesters — that corporate greed has destroyed the American Dream — is pervasive.
“I personally believe we, the American people, need to have a frank and open dialogue about the ways in which our democracy has failed. The will of the people, specifically in regards to issues such as social inequality and domestic and foreign wars has not been served for some time now,” said Derek Bredensteiner, an early proponent of Occupy Phoenix. “These occupiers are the only ones I see who aren't afraid to speak the truth and say, ‘we need more than a new law (that's approved and stamped by corporate interests) to fix these many issues.’ We have a real problem with who's interests are being served by our current legislative processes, and I want to be on the right side of history so I stand with the 99."
John Guzzon is editor of Modern Times Magazine.
Occupy Phoenix Event Locations
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