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Join the movement

Area residents take part in 'Occupy' demostration

Posted: October 16, 2011 - 4:00pm
People attended the Occupy Anchorage rally at Town Square Saturday, October 15, 2011 in Anchorage.  AP Photo/The Anchorage Daily News, Anne Raup
AP Photo/The Anchorage Daily News, Anne Raup
People attended the Occupy Anchorage rally at Town Square Saturday, October 15, 2011 in Anchorage.

The plan was to meet and arrange carpooling. Kate Veh and Eric Treider had been sending messages back-and-forth on Facebook. They decided to hold a meeting in hopes of finding people interested in traveling to Anchorage for Saturday’s United for Global Change rally.

The rally was part of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, an ongoing series of demonstrations in major cities around the U.S. that started in New York City. Thus, Veh created an Occupy Kenai & Soldotna Facebook page. She was skeptical anyone would show up to the Kenai Peninsula College meeting place, but seven individuals did.

A small group of Central Kenai Peninsula residents made the drive to Anchorage Saturday to participate in the Occupy movement. The trip marks the beginning of the Peninsula’s own Occupy group.

About ten minutes after starting the carpooling meeting on Thursday, seven people of varying age groups were discussing what the Occupy movement meant to them. Each was convinced that although the Peninsula may lack the numbers of Occupy Anchorage it was important to take notice of current events and become involved in their own way.
Veh admitted she has never been to a political rally. The global aspect of Saturday’s rally was what intrigued her most. A total of 869 cities participated in the rally.

Not everyone at the meeting agreed with all the goals recently formulated by the main protesters is New York City. Some common themes, however, were prevalent in the discussion, such as corporate greed and an ineffective political system.

“Lots of people in a lot of cities are participating in the Global Change rally. Anchorage is participating, Homer, Fairbanks, possibly Juneau. Someone here wanted to do something in Kenai,” Veh said. “We just decided to go to Anchorage. The purpose is to let our politicians and our financial elites know that they serve us. It is up to the people to decide our future.”

KPC student Kelsea Fowler, 19, attended the Thursday meeting. Political angst has been building over the past decade, she said.

“I think it’s like a volcano. It’s been building for a long time. The eruption seems sudden, but the pressure has been there,” she said. “The eruption is the only thing anyone pays attention to. People have been displeased for — I would say about a decade.”

The movement has received a mixed reception from elected officials.
Vice President Joe Biden likened the protests to the tea party, stating on Oct. 7, “What are the people up there on the other end of the political spectrum saying? The same thing: ‘Look guys, the bargain is not on the level anymore.’ In the minds of the vast majority of the American — the middle class is being screwed.”

Herman Cain, 2012 Republican presidential candidate, stated in an Oct. 5 interview that the movement was “anti-capitalist” and argued “Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself.”

Mitt Romney, 2012 Republican presidential candidate, called the protests “dangerous” and “class warfare.”

Kenai Peninsula Borough elected officials did not return calls for comment.

Demonstrators and news organizations have compared the Occupy demonstrations to the Arab Spring, particularly the Egyptian revolution, as participants of the event are protesting economic inequality.
It’s hard to say whether the Occupy Wall Street movement has the potential to create the change the Tahrir Square protests in Cairo did, Trieder said.

 “It’s a continuous process of promoting awareness, and we’re planting a seed this weekend,” he said. “A lot of people understand that corporations are really in control of things but feel powerless to do anything about it. Once others see people doing something about it things will begin to change.”

Another reason Veh and Trieder traveled to Anchorage is to gain insight from Occupy Anchorage, which has been organizing for about two weeks. She hoped to learn the process from the larger group and return to the Peninsula with solid ideas for making change.

The trip was a positive experience for the Peninsula residents. Veh waived her sign dressed as a nun, and Treider waived his sign dressed as a billionaire. Vehicles honked in support as they passed the rally — for the most part, as their were a few middle fingers directed at the protesters, Treider said.

Horizontal leadership at the rally was evident. There was no one spokesperson with about a half-dozen people helping organize the rally.
“It is a leaderless movement, so everyone who wanted to speak got to speak,” Veh said. “They didn’t have a sound system, so people would say something and then it would be repeated (by the crowd).”

This method of speaking and repeating is being used by the protesters in New York City.

There were a few attendees at the Thursday meeting that could not travel to Anchorage. Instead, they brought ideas for local action.
Occupational Safety student Vincent Johnson, 30, wrote a few templates of a single letter. He plans to send the letter to state leaders, corporate executives and other applicable persons in what he is dubbing “Occupy Mailboxes.”

Encouraging others to sign and make changes to the letters as they see fit, Johnson hopes to gain the attention of decision makers around the state. Go straight after the politicians with Occupy ideas and let them know why it is that people are gathering, he said.

The letter’s focus is the overreaching rights corporations enjoy, he said.

“It’s unfair that mega corporations and the ultra rich get tax breaks while the rest of us scrounge around for gas money,” Johnson said.
When the carpooling meeting began the sole intention was to organize Saturday’s trip, but after an hour the small group had arranged a follow-up meeting for Oct. 20.

The meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. at Kaladi Brothers Coffee in Soldotna.
Attendees were also encouraged to “like” the Occupy Kenai & Soldotna, Alaska Facebook page, so the group can facilitate discussions online.
By the end of Thursday’s meeting Veh was convinced the small group had potential to grow. Some attendees heard of the event only a day prior.

“I’m amazed at the enthusiasm here,” she said. “This global event is being put together in a week and a half. So I’m amazed seven people showed up. I’m surprised anyone showed up.”

Jerzy Shedlock can be reached at

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spwright 10/17/11 - 08:20 am
Power to the People

Mon. 10/17/11
Never doubt the Power of a Small Group of People to Change the World cause They are the Only Thing that Does.

Now Fox News & Bankers & Hedge Fund Managers are Laughing at this Revolution & Laughing All the Way to the Bank. All of the Republican "Talking Heads" are Laughing at this Revolution.

"We are the 99ers" will one day get a real Leader & the movement will then have one purpose & move forward.

SPW in Slooooooowdotna

cheapersmokes 10/17/11 - 10:30 am
Occupy movement!`

For this to have any lasting hope for change they have to come up with a message platform and all get behind it. They also need a spokesman who can talk about their issues and goals. Otherwise it is just another day of avoiding work or school for the supporters. If you really want to make a change then you should go after the unions who seem to get all of the government funding to keep their jobs and also an annual pay raise also.

M1A 10/18/11 - 12:08 pm

When these protesters start wiping there feet on the American Flag and sing blank the USA, they are no longer protesting, they are rioters and un AMERICAN. If you don't love this country you have the right to leave it. You want Socialism, go to Russia.

akmscott 10/18/11 - 07:34 pm
What a great thing!It's so

What a great thing!It's so nice to see a bunch of socialists getting together and peeing on cars!What a crock!

spwright 10/19/11 - 09:14 am
Just Curious ? 10/19/11

M1A Just Curious ? Is that the M1 Garand Rifle or the
M1A Abrams Tank ?

News Flash ! The USSR is no more since 1989
Russia is not a Socialist Nation anymore.

SPW "Airborne"

Norseman 10/19/11 - 11:07 am
corporations own you

The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of don't.

You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They've long since bought and paid for the Senate, the congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own ALL of the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear.

They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying....lobbying, to get what they want...Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I'll tell you what they don't want... they don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking.

They don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They are not interested in that...that doesn't help them. That's against their interests. That's right. They don't want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they're getting screwed by a system that threw them overboard 30 years ago. They don't want that.

You know what they want? They want obedient workers...Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly crappier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime, and vanishing pension that dissapears the minute you go to collect it, and now they are coming for your social security money. They want your retirement money. They want it back so they can give it back to their criminal friends on wall street, and you know something? They'll get it....they'll get it all from you sooner or later cause they own this place. It's a big club and you and I ain't in it. You and I are not in The Big Club.

By the way, it's the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head with their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table has tilted folks. The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care.

Good honest hard-working people....white collar, blue collar it doesn't matter what color of shirt you have on. Good honest hard-working people continue, these are people of modest means... continue to elect these rich aholes who don't give a crap about you. That's what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of what is being crammed down their throats, because the owners of this country know the truth. It's called the American Dream cause you have to be asleep tp believe it...

This was written by George Carlin in 2004. He was spot on.

beaverlooper 10/19/11 - 11:18 am
M1A "When these

M1A "When these protesters start wiping there feet on the American Flag and sing blank the USA, they are no longer protesting, they are rioters and un AMERICAN". I agree that such acts are disgusting, but the supreme court says it is freedom of speech.Where did you see that the tea party were wiping their feet on the flag? I think you made it up. People who love their country but don't agree with it , or you,also have a right to STAY and don't have to move anywhere.

camaro1970 10/22/11 - 04:27 pm
I Agree spwright...Hurray for the Underdog

There probably is no better example than the one from the bible.
'David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.'

spwright 10/22/11 - 06:00 pm
Ya Missed the Point Sat 10/22/11

Sat 10/22/11
Well All of the Above missed the point of my message.
The Biblical message,The Anti-Protester, The I'm more Intelligent than You.

It's the Small Group of People gathering for a common cause that accomplishes anything. They actually Step Forward & Participate & Do Their Share & Their Cause moves Forward & gains Movement.

The $Rich$ 1 % are Choosing to Laugh & Ignore
"The 99% ers" & That will Prove to be a very very Bad Mistake in Judgement by the 1 %. They will regret that decision.

Oh by the Way, ALL of the Un-Declared Independent Alaskan
NON-Voters that choose NOT to Vote.
You have no say, You have No Voice, You have No Opinion
cuz You choose not to participate in democracy & NOT Vote.
You have surrendered Your Voice by not Voting.

SPW "Airborne"

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