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Occupy Buffalo springs to life

Occupy Buffalo: change is in the air.

blog by Ben Kirst  • 

It’s a tense time to be an American. That’s how it goes when the economy tanks, wars never end, infrastructure crumbles, schools flop, cities fail, politicians continually disappoint and no one in government or corporate America ever seems to listen.

We’re entering an explosive national debate about the direction of our country, and Buffalo—a city as affected as any by the social, political and economic turmoil of the past few decades—is going to be in the middle of the conversation. 

The latest evidence: Occupy Wall Street has made its way to Buffalo.

On Saturday, local activists met at Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo for the first public general assembly of the group, an offshoot of the blossoming Occupy Wall Street / Occupy Together movement

WGRZ-TV reported that roughly 50 people attended, while the Occupy Buffalo Facebook page—one of two, that is—pegged the attendance number as “more than 80.” 

Another brainstorming session was scheduled for Cazenovia Park in South Buffalo on Sunday, and it was deemed a “huge success:”

Think Twice Radio tweet

The next major action for the group will be a demonstration at Niagara Square on Saturday, Oct. 15.  Another planning session is planned for the Square on Saturday, Oct. 8.

According to Adbusters, a progressive, advertisement-free publication that critiques politics, culture and media, the Occupy Wall Street movement is “...a people powered movement for democracy that began in America on September 17 with an encampment in the financial district of New York City. Inspired by the Egyptian Tahrir Square uprising and the Spanish acampadas, we vow to end the monied corruption of our democracy.”  The movement has no official leaders or spokespeople.

Noted critic Glenn Greenwald clarified the position, commenting on Salon.com “...Does anyone really not know what the basic message is of this protest: that Wall Street is oozing corruption and criminality and its unrestrained political power—in the form of crony capitalism and ownership of political institutions—is destroying financial security for everyone else?”

A series of international protests were launched on Sept. 17 and a core group of Occupy Wall Street activists have maintained a presence in Manhattan’s Financial District over the past two weeks.  Over 700 people were arrested (many of whom were subsequently released) today when an impromptu march over the Brooklyn Bridge resulted in congested conditions and communication issues with the New York Police Department.

The Occupy Buffalo movement has rallied around the slogan “We are the 99 percent,” referring to the wide swath of Americans who feel shut out from the country’s political and economic decision-making processes due to corporate and governmental control.  A Facebook description notes that  “Occupy Buffalo NY has joined the ranks of citizens ranging from Boston to Canada to Europe, banding together as people, for all people, against greed and corruption that has deteriorated society resulting in the downfall of economy. “

Interested in the Occupy Buffalo movement? There are numerous online resources to get involved or simply follow along.

There are two Facebook pages: Occupy Buffalo and Occupy Buffalo NY

There is an Occupy Buffalo Tumblr that has pulled together some of the movement info.

The main / best source of info is the Occupy Buffalo Twitter feed (@OccupyBuffalo).  Use of and searches for the hashtag #occupybuffalo are also helpful.

There is an OccupyBuffalo.org website, but it’s basically just a splash page at this point. 

There’s something in the wind, Buffalo.  Change is coming.  We’re going to see it firsthand.

 

TAGGED: activism, niagara square, occupy buffalo, occupy wall street, progressive movement

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Comments

  1. Rachel Bulau October 03, 2011 @ 12:58am

    The incident on the Brooklyn Bridge was anything but miscommunication. The police led the protesters onto the bridge, then fenced them in and began arresting. Multiple witnesses confirm the same story.

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2011/10/01/eyewitness-account-to-the-brooklyn-bridge-arrests/

    Rachel Bulau's avatar
  2. Joshua Schuster October 11, 2011 @ 7:15pm

    Thanks for sharing my video.

    Joshua Schuster's avatar