Ides of March walk 2013

Occupy Walk USA in today’s News-Herald Havasu News

Occupy Walk USA in today’s News-Herald  Lake Havasu Newspaper!


Occupy Walk occupies Channel

Today’s News-Herald
Published Saturday, March 24, 2012 11:04 PM MST

A small group of Spring Breakers gathered around Jason Brock as he streamed live video via a cell phone Saturday morning at The Bridgewater Channel. A few tents were pitched on the narrow beach behind him, and short, handmade signs stuck in the sand. One Breaker, carrying a bag of wine, with a splotchy, sunburned chest and painted orange toenails to match his orange hat, asked what they were doing.

“We’re walking from San Diego to New York City,” Brock answered.

“Holy (expletive), that’s a long walk,” the Breaker said.

Occupy Walk USA, a group of eight people walking more than 3,000 miles across the country sending messages about their dissatisfaction with corporations controlling America, decided to occupy the Channel for the weekend.

“People are here to party right now,” Brock, 44, said. “So with that said, I think their mind isn’t so much on politics right now, but they are aware of what’s going on and they are supportive.”

The group left San Diego Feb. 18 and started walking east, passing through the California regions of Encinitas, Temecula, Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms before ending up in Needles, according to its website. Bill Terzin, one of the walkers, said San Diego contacts suggested they come to Havasu and spread their message during Spring Break. By way of a donated ride, the walkers arrived in Havasu Friday around 5 p.m. and plan to return to Needles Monday, and from there head to Kingman then Flagstaff. They are camping along the Channel about halfway between the London Bridge Resort and Thompson Bay, and Brock said they plan to be there today.

“The police have been very friendly even though we disagree with some of the rules and regulations here,” Brock said. “They are being accommodating. We’ll see how long that lasts. Most of us had not had very good experiences with the police and they usually tend to be nice at first and progressively get worse and worse.”

Throughout the nation in the last week, reports of Occupy protesters surfaced facing criminal charges and court sentencing stemming from protest events.

According to OccupyWallSt.org, the movement began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District to fight the power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process.

Saturday, Occupy Wall Street protesters were marching in New York City against police brutality; Sacramento held a community gathering; a biking event was held in Chicago; in Minneapolis, Occupy participants stood with Latinos facing foreclosure, according to the Associated Press.

Friday, Idaho’s House State Affairs were slated to discuss how to oust Boise Occupants; the first of nine people faced trial in Maine for Occupy protests, AP reports.

Thursday, an encampment of about a dozen people sprang up in Oakland about a mile from city hall; South Carolina legislators tried to boot Occupy Columbia protesters from state grounds; Occupy Chattanooga started discussing whether or not to sue after being ousted from a county courthouse lawn, AP states.

Wednesday, activists announced New York that spring training would be held in April in all 50 states teaching people how to protest peacefully; a California judge ruled three Occupy Oakland protesters to stand trial on robbery and hate crime charges; reports of graffiti of anti-police and pro-Occupy movements surfaced in St. Louis.

Tuesday, a California judge prohibited four people, who participated in Occupy protests last fall, from entering the University of California, Berkeley campus; the city of Fairbanks, Alaska allowed the Occupy protesters to have a portable toilet.

One of the visiting walkers in Havasu, Adam Peck, said his first experience last fall in Occupy Dallas, showed him that people of different backgrounds can come together.

“There were Ron Paul supporters, there were socialists, people from Texas militia, there were Republicans, Democrats, there were anarchists, but we all came together every night at the general assembly and we all talked about what we wanted to be done for the day and the week and we had a Democratic vote and tried to reach a compromise,” said the 22-year-old. “When you live together in a community and when you are living in tents and there is no sound barrier from one tent to the next tent, you feel closer, like a family. Families can have arguments, but in the end, when push comes to shove, they (are still family). And if there is something that is so divisive that it threatens to pull it apart, just don’t do it. If it’s split 50-50 and there is no way to reach consensus on it, it’s not an important thing that has to be decided on right away. It’s not worth risking breaking the unity for 50 percent of the people to pass their objective.”

Peck said the Havasu crowds had been “good.”

“Is it always like this? Just boats out here? People hanging out on the weekend? People were coming by and waving at us, cheering us, taking pictures with the signs and come by and talk to us,” he said.

Brock said the “Declaration of Wall Street” on Occupy Wall Street’s website outlines problems the movement is trying to solve.

“(We want) to make sure that our economy and our way of life isn’t totally overrun by mega corporations and the power elite,” he said. “(What) we are suggesting people do, off the bat, is move their money from big banks … into a local credit union. When you take your money from the big banks and put it back into your local economy, it helps the local economy. Also, credit unions aren’t motivated by profit, they are motivated by better business in a local community. … You can stop driving so much, start walking. Start buying more local, buy from your local Main Street.”

Jay Kolar, a 60-year-old Lake Havasu City resident, was one of the passer-bys who stopped to chat with the walkers Saturday.

“People ought to know the entire system is corrupt,” Kolar said. “Basically, most of the politicians have sold out. This country is run by corporations. I’ve learned that (the walkers) are doing a pilgrimage for human rights in America, which we’ve lost a lot of our rights. I think that’s commendable.”

You may contact the reporter at jleatherman@havasunews.com


March 25, 2012 - Posted by | Occupy Walk News

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