Atlantans Launch Chapter of Occupy Together


(APN) ATLANTA — For fifteen days, activists have been protesting on Wall Street in New York against corporate greed, in a protest with no end date called Occupy Wall Street.  

The protests have been the Left’s attempt to respond to the right-wing Tea Party with its own populist movement; so, of course, they have been subject to a corporate media blackout and extensive police oppression and brutality.

Over eighty activists have been arrested so far in New York, Kevin Zeese who has been participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement, told Atlanta Progressive News.

On October 06, 2011, a second major Occupy protest will begin in Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC, which has been in the planning process for six months.

About a week ago, the Occupy movement began a national ad hoc umbrella group called Occupy Together, which unites local movements in cities across the US.

Here in Atlanta, activists have launched their own chapter called Occupy Atlanta.

They have an Occupy Atlanta page on Facebook with 1,497 likes as of this date; a website; and have been posting flyers throughout the City.

Occupy Atlanta will be having a General Assembly tomorrow, Sunday, October 02, 2011, at 5pm in Hurt Park in downtown Atlanta.

Previously, they held at least two General Assemblies, including one that took place on September 28 at Brownwood Park; and one on September 26 at Springvale Park playground.

According to a link on the Occupy Atlanta website, a People’s Assembly is defined as “a participatory decision-making body which works towards consensus.”

The group has also been posting the minutes of its General Assemblies online.  According to the September 28 minutes, one member made a motion to occupy Woodruff Park on October 06, but the motion was declined.

The Assemblies have been fairly well-attended, with 47 people at the September 28 one.

Generally, Occupy Atlanta appears to be in its initial planning stages, determining general values and goals, creating committees, and addressing logistical issues.

“Any of these groups getting started, it does take time to get organizing,” Zeese, who is also a core organizer of the October 06 rally in DC, said.

The October 06 rally in DC had already been in the planning process for three months when Adbusters, an anti-consumerist magazine, called for a rally on Wall Street as well.  

The focus of the Occupy movements has been “economic disparity and the economy,” Zeese said.

“The focus on Wall Street in New York is on bailing out Wall Street, the CEO bonuses, the corporations that are hoarding the wealth.  A lot of these young kids are coming out with very high college debt loans, five hundred to a thousand dollar a month loan repayment.  It’s really a lack of fairness in the economy, the hoarding of wealth by big business interests, and a failure to keep the economy going so people will have jobs,” Zeese said.

Zeese said the growth of the movement “shows the anger people have of the unfairness of the economy.  They see the wealthiest, richest four hundred people have as much wealth as bottom 154 million Americans – people see it and they’re angry about it,” Zeese said.

Zeese also rejected comparing the Occupy and Tea Party movements.

“I think the Tea Party movement is some of the same anger.  I think it’s a separate issue.  Unlike the Tea Party which has become entangled of the Republican Party, the Occupy Movement is independent,” Zeese said.

“It’s people who are suffering – it’s not Left either.  I don’t think the politics are that clear that way.  We call ourselves the ninety-nine percent.”

Occupy Wall Street currently has hundreds of protesters each day during the weekend, and thousands during the week.  Zeese predicts attendance will reach the tens of thousands in the near future.


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