Occupy Wall Street Protesters Coming To Providence

Monday, October 03, 2011


The anti-Wall Street campaign taking place in cities across the country is coming to Providence, with a third consecutive day of planning meetings set to take place this evening at Roger Williams National Memorial on South Main Street.

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The group (known as Occupy Providence),which had dozens of activists at its downtown meeting Sunday, has yet to make clear what its plans are in the Ocean State, but a rally near Kennedy Plaza or the State House is likely to take place.

In New York, 700 Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested on Brooklyn Bridge, leading similar groups to form in Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago. Providence appears to be among the communities involved in the next wave of protests, which have no stated goal other than to rail against big corporations and inequality issues.

Coming Up With A Plan

The New York rally started out last month with about a dozen college students protesting in Zuccotti Park. Now the group’s message has gone viral, with thousands of viewers watching the group via webcast and various groups starting in locations throughout the country.

The Providence spinoff has been less than open to the media as it devises its plans.

“Right now we're in the early stages of planning, so there no real answers to give you at this point,” Mark Simmons, one of the group’s administrators on Facebook said. “When there are I can see if the group will be ok with me talking with you.”

Another group administrator was even less revealing.

“You are welcome to see the results of what we do! I can only tell u we are working it out,” he said.

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Not Just Wall Street

Although the original group calls itself Occupy Wall Street, protests do not simply focus on corporate greed. Some groups have taken to protesting social or environmental issues. While it remains unclear exactly what the Providence group will focus on, it is promoting a rally “against corporate education” later this week, according to its Facebook page.

“Today we decided to support this rally, which is to show support for public schools and the teachers unions against the privatization of education and charter schools,” wrote Cam Mancini on the Occupy Providence Facebook page.

Other activists are preparing for a long battle.

“This birthing a new world can be messy stuff,” Joyce Katzberg wrote on the page. “The labor is long and hard. Hoping we can remember to breathe deeply with each other. Today's meeting was exciting (and frustrating) and tomorrow's will probably be that way too. Those of us who showed up are a passionate lot - I just hope that we will make more effort to engage in radical listening.”

Meeting Tonight

It is unclear if the group plans to interfere with the Motivational Seminar expected to bring thousands of people to downtown Providence today, but the group’s meeting is at 5:00pm.

At least young person said the protesting is exactly what he is looking for.

“I’ve only lived here for a year but I want to show my support,” Manuel Rivas wrote on the Facebook page. “I've been jobless the whole time I've been here. Struggling to find work/go to school and I'm fed up and am actually leaving for NY soon, inspired by their Occupy Wall Street movement. I will show my support tomorrow for Providence just want to be sure headed to the right spot.”


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