Occupy movement hanging on

02/29/2012 05:33 PM

By: Bill Carey

For more than three months, a group of demonstrators lived in a small downtown Syracuse Park. It was all part of the Occupy movement. YNN’s Bill Carey said the movement has waned during the winter months, but organizers said it will be back in force, come the Spring.

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. — While the weather has been relatively mild, it has been a long, tough winter for the Occupy movement.

In Syracuse, as in other cities, police eventually moved in to remove a makeshift tent city. Without some type of shelter, the idea of a round the clock protest quickly faltered.

Zach Ott, Occupy Syracuse protester said, “I mean right now, we don’t have a 24-7 occupation. We’re here every day. But, we had to close the overnight because as soon as it hits nighttime, the temperature drops. And if it’s snowing, wind, I mean downtown the wind never stops here.”

But the demonstrators said they are not giving up. The Occupy movement is trying to stay alive, primarily by coordinating efforts, nationwide, to protest corporate involvement in politics.

Across the country, groups like this were on the move to protest corporate support of ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. It’s a group that helps draw up legislation. It’s critics said most of its proposals are designed to rollback protections for consumers.

The Occupy Syracuse demonstrators marched on local offices of the Bank of America, an ALEC supporter, not quite shutting the offices down, but causing some disruption. The real goal was to keep the movement, moving.

“Right now, we’re really trying to get prepared for Spring, because we really want to be able to explode in Spring and be back to at least where we started. I mean our second week protest was 300 people,” said Ott.

The Spring, they said, may bring a new look to Occupy, sending groups into outlying communities.

Ott said, “Doing canvassing stuff. Acting more like a legitimate non-profit organization but without the actual non-profit label. We’re going to be going into communities and trying to spread the message

The main job, for now, is hold on to the core group of messengers.


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