CORNER BROOK The Occupy Wall Street movement has reached Corner Brook.
Saturday’s march representing the downtrodden 99 per cent against the corporate elitist one per cent was occupied by approximately 40 people. However, the demonstration was not just about being there, it was about taking action and helping to try and make a difference in today’s actuality.
The group, mainly young adults, chanted as they showed their solidarity along the downtown streets of Corner Brook. They arrived at the Majestic Lawn with their placards aplenty and a spirited conglomerate got down to business. The consensus vote determined this group was here to be an effective means in the worldwide movement that continues to collect momentum over the past couple of months.
For organizer Laura Love Saturday’s beginning in Corner Brook was nothing short of breathtaking.
“I am actually very surprised,” she said of the numbers who attended the demonstration in Corner Brook. “We started with about a handful of people, and eventually our group grew to 10. When it happened in Wall Street, it started with about 20 college students and it grew to almost 200,000. That is beautiful.
“Everyone coming together (Saturday) is a lot of support.”
The general assembly, where the individuals had the opportunity to voice their views of society and propose the direction the local movement should take, lasted well into the afternoon. Most of those gathered were vocal, and the discussions were constant.
It was determined Occupy Corner Brook would be comprised of two committees — a research and an outreach committee — to help raise the awareness, and in an educated and well articulated manner that can reach the widest audience.
It was also decided there will be a second demonstration this coming Saturday, again with a march from city hall starting at 1 p.m. It will be followed with another assembly at the Majestic Lawn.
Meanwhile, the people willing to sit on the committees committed to meeting to discuss its direction further, and prepare for Saturday’s demonstration.
The commitment of the local group was impressive to Love.
“I think it is beautiful,” she said. “A group of people, not just from the university — which is wonderful — but also people from unions and the public, just coming together in one group expressing our outrage against corporation.”
Meanwhile, university professor Basil Chiasson, said it was important to him to show his support and offer his views on the issues. He was one of the many who frequented the discussions, and also offered his commitment to a dedicated ongoing effort.
“I come from a long history of working class family,” he said. “I lived recently in the U.K., where I saw the financial crisis that is destroying many levels of society — from individuals and families to institutions, particularly like the universities are coming under attack now.
“I am quite alarmed at all this, and I think it is good to ask more serious questions about why these things are happening as opposed to just watching specific news stations and digesting what they are telling us.”
Chiasson said he was impressed by the turnout and the solidarity of those who attended. He said the upcoming meetings will be important in determining the exact direction of the local movement.
“We now need to get to know one another,” he said. “We are all connected by a general dismay of what is happening, and the elitist society being given too many breaks and the people who don’t have very much being persecuted through massive taxations.”