The Occupy movement can now add Stevens Point, Wisconsin, to its list of participating cities. Last Saturday, a group of about 50 community members and students met at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Sundial. Many arrived with signs and banners stating their reasons for joining the Occupy movement. The messages included: "We are the 99%," "Student Loan Debt = New Indentured Servitude," and "People Over Profit."
The Occupy movement began on September 17, when people descended upon the New York Stock Exchange in protest against Wall Street’s influence on government. Since then, people have occupied spaces in over 1,000 communities in the U.S. alone, and many more across the globe. Now, the call for action against corporate greed has reached even this small Wisconsin city.
Kate Carson, a student who has been involved with organizing OccuPoint, thinks one of the uprising’s strongest points is that it
covers a broad spectrum of issues.
"The wonderful thing about the Occupy movement is that there is no single answer [to why we are here]," Carson said. "There is no one issue and there is no one political affiliation that is bringing these protests to life. We all have our own reasons and our own personal experiences that have brought us out here."
After gathering at the Sundial, the group marched to the downtown square, where the weekly farmer’s market was being held. A "people’s mic" was opened up and a number of those attending took the chance to speak.
Community members from different backgrounds told personal stories about what motivated them to join the movement. Among the crowd were folks from across the region, including Wisconsin Rapids residents who took the drive to attend the rally.
Occupy Stevens Point organizers plan on keeping up the local contingent of the growing Occupy Together movement. They announced they will continue with another assembly to be held in the downtown square on Saturday, October 29. This will be followed by a "PotluckUPATION" potluck at the Chase Bank parking lot near downtown at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 1, and possible actions on the following Saturday, November 5.