Bennington Banner- "Activists Gear Up for Local Occupy Wall Street Rallies"

Activists gear up for local Occupy Wall Street rallies

CHRIS GAROFOLO
Posted: 10/09/2011 09:46:44 PM EDT

Sunday October 9, 2011
BRATTLEBORO -- Vermont activists seeking economic justice are bringing the fight from Wall Street to Main Street.

After roughly 700 protesters were arrested earlier this week in New York City during demonstrations against the excesses of Wall Street, a handful of Vermonters are stepping up actions in the Green Mountain State.

On Sunday, 150 people attended a protest in City Hall Park in Burlington. Activists in Brattleboro are hoping for people to appear at a solidarity rally beginning at 2 p.m. on Oct. 15 at the Wells Foundation Park at 224 Main Street.

Similar actions are planned for Montpelier and Rutland next weekend.

The state chapter of the Sierra Club has joined with the Vermont Workers Center and the Vermont AFL-CIO in calling for solidarity demonstrations.

The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations across the United States began last month when several young activists parked themselves in front of the New York Stock Exchange. The movement has expanded to unions, un-and-underemployed Americans and students.

New groups have continued to organize in major U.S. cities like Philadelphia, Boston and Los Angeles, but also in unlikely centers such as Salt Lake City and Anchorage, Alaska. Organizers in tiny Brattleboro say it is important to continue to have the movement spread across the country.

"This affects everyone and just seeing the chain reaction to the power of just a grassroots organizing in action,

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it's a global message that is being passed along," said Dylan Richardson, a 23-year-old freelance photojournalist living in Williamsville. He attended the New York City protests last week and plans to return.
"I think what it comes down to is people realizing that the system that has been established that's supposed to work isn't working and even the folks who have gone through all the so-called steps of what you're supposed to do to be successful, those people are finding out that isn't working," he said. "We know a lot of people are really unhappy with the way things are and we need a change." Although Wall Street's practices and economic inequality remain the focus, some demonstrators blame both major parties for legislation protecting corporate America at the expense of middle class families.

New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Friday the city is dealing with the Wall Street protesters to safeguard everyone's rights. He said on a weekly radio show that he is sympathetic to their complaints because they have raised concerns over economic inequality, but he also is understanding of neighbors who have voiced concerns about the continual noise at Zuccotti Park, the center of the actions.

For information visit occupywallst.org.