ST. GEORGE – A mix of young and old congregated in Vernon Worthen Park for the second meeting of Occupy St. George on Oct. 10.
Meeting at the gazebo in the middle of the park, between 25 and 30 individuals came together to make their voices heard, to plan, or simply to learn what the local Occupy movement stood for.
Ingela Rundquist, a student at Dixie State College and one of the organizers behind Occupy Saint George, said the purpose of the movement was to get corporate greed and influence out of government.
A number of the people drawn to the initial Occupy Saint George meeting on Oct. 7 came as a result of the Facebook group Rundquist created as she watched the Occupy Wall Street movement spread. Thanks to the use of social media and word of mouth, curious and likeminded individuals were drawn to the meeting in the park on Monday
The local Occupy Facebook group currently stands at over 160 members and rising.
“I wanted to see what was happening,” Meyers said.
Rundquist encouraged anyone curious about the group to attend a meeting or an upcoming march in order to educate themselves, rather than rely on the media to shape their opinion.
“Media can be very bias,” Rundquist said.
Greg Stevens, a self-described conservative Republican, said Occupy Saint George was a movement that everyone needed to join. He also voiced his frustration toward government officials in Washington DC.
“They don’t represent us anymore,” Stevens said.
Steven added that the politicians were out of touch and spent more time giving an ear to the voice of lobbyists over their constituents.
As for his opinion on negative media portrayal of Occupy Wall Street, Stevens said, “They don’t want this uprising to happen.”
EA Koetting, a local author who professed Libertarian views, was also in attendance at the meeting. He said the government had made itself beholden to Wall Street and big banks.
“They [the politicians] are serving themselves and their interests,” Koetting said. “The people need to exercise their voice.”
As the meeting progressed, multiple opinions were given and a general, focused idea of what Occupy Saint George stood for began to congeal.
A suggestion was given to focus more on local matters instead of taking on the world all at once; start one battle at a time and win it, rather than charge headlong into a war and lose outright.
Near the end of the gathering the assembled Occupiers agreed that the following points needed to be pursued:
- Incumbents on the St. George City Council needed to be voted out.
- Higher levels of disclosure from the local government must be demanded by the public.
- Higher voter turnout in local primaries and general elections must be encouraged
A date for a future march by the Occupiers was also set for Thursday, October 13, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The group plans to meet in the park on Main Street and then march to the St. George City offices at 175 N. 200 E.
Rundquist and others said they hope the march will raise more public awareness and draw additional members to Occupy Saint George.
“Social media is great, but it’s only going to do so much,” Rundquist said.
Members of Occupy Saint George, which included anyone from the young college student to the seasoned observer, stressed they were not for the establishment of a communistic or socialist government. Rather, they seek to hold corporate America and big banks, along with their alleged political puppets, accountable to the people.
“We’re not criminals, were not heroes,” said Ryan Fisher, an Occupy supporter.
Fisher also stated that the people of Occupy Saint George were not pursuing an agenda for the political left or right.
“We’re all middle of the road,” he said.
Additional comments were made of how major media outlets attempted to highjack the Occupy Wall Street movement and portrayed the bulk of its supporters as young people only. Rundquist, however, said America’s youth were the prime movers behind the movement. After all, it is the rising generation that is projected to be impacted tomorrow by the political machinations of today.
“It’s our future,” Rundquist said.
- Occupy St. George Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/occupysaintgeorgeut/
- Occupy Wall Street.org: http://occupywallstreet.org
Copyright 2011 St. George News. This material may not be published or rewritten without written consent.