Local demonstrators to support anti-Wall Street movement

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SALT LAKE CITY -- For the last several weeks, the Occupy Wall Street movement has alternately been a cause for alarm and a cause celebre in the center of the nation's financial district. Now, a group in Utah intends to take up their mantle locally by taking up residence in Pioneer Park this Thursday.

"We are here to show support in this revolutionary movement against the corporate greed that forces families from their homes, elects politicians and enacts the laws that govern the people of this great country," said Skylar Hawk, who is helping to organize Occupy SLC.

Since last week, anywhere from 70 to 100 workers, activists and students have been meeting nightly at the Salt Lake Library amphitheater to plan for a long-term occupation in the center of downtown. They call themselves Occupy Salt Lake City. They are among dozens of groups around the country who intend to bring the scene in New York City to their own hometown.

"(Occupy Wall Street) is great and what they are doing is great, and we want to stand in solidarity," said Kane , another organizer, who wanted only his first name used.

A government is there to serve the people, not private interests. The people would like that restored.


On Thursday, demonstrators will rally at the Capital and then march through downtown past several banks and the Federal building, and then on to Pioneer Park where they'll set up and intend to remain.

They seem to be planning accordingly. So far the group has committees dedicated to keeping people fed, keeping the peace, providing power and communications, and even a sanitation committee, among others.

They will stay "until the movement itself is recognized and respected world wide, especially in this country where it started," according to Hawk.

Organizers at planning meetings have said that as things progress, they intend to state more specific local demands.

"A government is there to serve the people, not private interests. The people would like that restored. And whatever legislature or laws need to be rewritten to allow that to happen must be addressed," said Kane.

Occupy Salt Lake City
Rally and March
Thursday, October 6 at 10 a.m.
Begins at Utah State Capitol
Ends at Pioneer Park
Demonstration will take place 24/7 indefinitely

Occupy SLC is also hoping to avoid the kinds of problems that have plagued the demonstrators on Wall Street, where over 700 were arrested after a march on the Brooklyn Bridge last week.

"We've kind of taken a stance to have a police liaison in contact, so that we are making them aware beforehand," said Alex Fabela. "They are part of the 99 percent too. They've suffered as much as the rest of us, and doing what they are doing, they are just doing their jobs as far as I am concerned."

The group maintains a website and a Facebook page, and says they encourage everyone, regardless of political leanings, to get involved.

"There's a lot of misconceptions about it being the left wing answer to the tea party movement, which is not the case at all," said Kane, who is also an Air Force veteran.

"It's more about the socioeconomic structure and addressing how it's been corrupted, and how the government is no longer serving the interests of the people."

Whether Occupy SLC will occupy the park for long depends on how the city and police respond, and whether all their planning works. All this remains to be seen.

Email: dnewlin@ksl.com

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David Self Newlin


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