Occupy Buffalo springs to life
blog by Ben Kirst • October 02, 2011 @ 5:57pm
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.
Another brainstorming session was scheduled for Cazenovia Park in South Buffalo on Sunday, and it was deemed a “huge success:”
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 is an Occupy Buffalo Tumblr that has pulled together some of the movement info.
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.