Occupy Grand Rapids General Assembly
Date: Saturday, October 8th
Time: Starts at noon
Location: Calder Plaza
What to expect: This General Assembly will be a peaceful, non-violent gathering of citizens. There will be no electronic amplification - only amplification through the crowd repeating what each person says. Citizens are invited to bring drums and instruments, snacks to share, and materials to make signs. Citizen journalism is also welcome - please, no spin! In Zuccotti Park, where Occupy Wall Street Protesters have set up, citizens have created zones for first aid, warm clothes, food, media, massage, haircuts and a people's library. The Grand Rapids Occupation will reflect local creativity, skills, and resources.
Weather Forecast: Beautiful, 79 degrees, and sunny with an 80% chance of ArtPrize.
Other articles by the same author
Other articles by this author
Occupy Wall Street is in its third week in New York City, with sister movements popping up in solidarity all over the country, including right here in Grand Rapids. In this past week, over 800 peaceful occupiers were arrested and the NYPD has used pepper spray point blank, as well as nightsticks. Occupiers' act of civil disobedience was to walk in the street without having first obtained a parade permit. The Occupy Grand Rapids group on Facebook has exploded in membership from a handful of inspired citizens to over 1,000 in under three days, and the numbers are growing. As of today, the Occupy movement has spread to over 900 cities.
This weekend, the first General Assembly will take place in Calder Plaza. Media outlets around the country have been asking what are the demands of the protest, but by its very nature, perspectives are individual and multifaceted. The first official statement that has come out of the General Assembly on Wall Street, which has been developed through a process of concensus, can be found on a number of alternative news sites and can be read here.
Citizens in Grand Rapids have been developing demands specific to our community - though at this time a General Assembly to discuss these topics has not put them to review. Due concern and consideration is being given by the citizens of Grand Rapids to how best to assemble in an inclusive, peaceful way to raise awareness of the magnitude of the disparity of wealth, political injustice through corporate power over the government, and, in general, the message that the disenfranchised 99% will not sit idly by a moment longer.
Utah Phillips quote, sign by Ruby Miller (photo by Teresa Zbciak)
Teresa Zbiciak currently serves the community of Grand Rapids in the Volunteer Center at Heart of West Michigan United Way, and Sunday Soup GR. She graduated with a Bachelors in Fine Arts from Grand Valley State University; is passionate about sustainable local food systems; owns three accordians, a trumpet, a cornet and a flugal horn - only one of which she plays with any frequency, much to her chagrin.
Reports on: Local events, volunteerism, activism, nonprofit