Thursday May 23, 2013
Occupy Salem Movement Gaining Steady Momentum at Wilson ParkAustin King Salem-News.com
The group of citizen activists at Wilson Park in Salem's capitol say they are steadfast, and say they will not disperse until things in our government undergo a 'serious makeover'.
(SALEM, Oregon) - Spirits are high among individuals who are using their voices and making their presence known in Salem.
Approaching the 6th night of 'Occupy Salem', protesters aren't wavering from a constant police presence, and both local and state police have been respectful so far, according to the group. Mostly just driving by, with little interaction.
When asked if any trouble was expected this weekend, a Salem police officer parked at Wilson Park replied, "I don't think so."
The officer was informed that protesters do not expect any sort of trouble either.
Michelle Darr, an activist well-known for her 2008Operation Homebound peace vigil on Oregon's capitol steps, feels positive about this movement's progress so far.
"I think we're really strong, stronger than ever before. We're getting more donations than ever before. Everything's been donated in fact, to the extent that we have three storage tents, as well as a kitchen. Somebody rolled up with a truckload of lumber, they'd noticed our storage tent was needing a little help, so they built us a solid one out of wood. People are really steppping up to take care of us."
Each night since Tuesday, the camp has been broken down and moved across the street. This is because on Wednesday night at 10 o'clock, police ordered they would 'arrest anyone with a tent' in less than an hour. Moving the tents avoided the necessity of arrest for the vocal activists of individual worth and equality.
Aside from a couple light grumbles from YMCA apartment-dwellers across the way complaining about late-night noise interrupting their sleep, people seem to generally support this movement.
At this time, police are allowing the group's food and supply structures to stay in Wilson Park, lightening the nightly/morning routine of these citizens.
In addition to protecting the landscape and keeping an eye out for police-threat, the rotating volunteers diligently tend to campers' needs, some of whom are disabled or challenged. None seem to mind however, with everyone lending their hand seemingly sharing one common mind-state: people matter. Every person is important, and the poor should not be perpetuated in class, to the advantage of the already extremely-rich few. Michele Darr wishes to spread this awareness.
"I am here because good people who are disenfranchised and dis-empowered make up a large chunk of the 99%, and things have gotten so bad for so long were gonna be focusing our efforts in the coming days on getting more services in the coming days. There have been some faith organizations who've stepped up and said they want to participate, and wanting to know how they can help. I tell everyone that we need more presence, especially during the day. We need tables and tents. More medical care providers, and Veterans support. We really need more Veterans support, we've got some soldiers who are holding in their wounds, who have PTSD, and we're starting to see more of that. We're a strong network of support for these individuals. We need to constantly strengthen their support."
Several groups have already pledged their support for Occupy Salem.
"We had another union join us, The United Food and Commercial Workers Union, of some 19,000 members. They support what the people are taking a stand for here at Occupy Salem, and are behind people in every state that become a part of the Occupy America movement."
The collective of change-seekers have been strict on their 'non-antagonist' behavior policy, seeking only to peacefully demonstrate the individual-at-large's dissatisfaction in the lack of fairness or consideration for the individual on government's part.
Salemites are working to show support through Facebook and other social networks. "Occupy Salem Oregon" on Facebook is an all access group with updates daily
Time seems to be a friend of the occupational-protester. The group intends to maintain a presence until notice is taken by those responsible for a waste-bureaucracy that sits in place of the ideals we were raised to believe in, and this country is supposed to be built upon.
When asked if she foresaw an imminent end to the occupation, Michelle Dahr said 'no'.
"This effort will continue until the peoples' needs are addressed. Something is going to happen, because something has to happen. We're a huge part of that."
Several news and blog entities have appeared to document the movement. Nyla Alisia, award-winning published poet and talk-radio personality, is also documenting the people's protest in Wilson Park. As an experienced journalist, Nyla applies her professional skills to spread truth. She believes it is important for citizens to document their own history.
"I think it's important that what's going on down here is reported and documented. I work with a lot of writers, and I'm really encouraging people who are poets, storytellers, writers of any kind, to record what's going on down here. It's like i tell my poets all the time... If we don't record the common man's history, we're leaving it up to the politicians to do it. We always know that they slant it in the way best to serve them, so it is the voice of the common-man that needs to be heard... and that's us. So we need to really get people working on that, documenting what's going on all the time."
Salem-news maintains a consistent presence to document the Occupy Salem movement, keeping readers as up-to-date as possible, with a steady eye on this historic people's movement.
View the group's official website: OccupySalemOregon.com
Official Facebook page: Occupy Salem Oregon
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