‘Occupy Saint George’: Incumbents need to be voted out, media trying to silence national movement

Occupy Saint George
Photos by Mori Kessler, St. George News

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.

occupy saint georgeOne person looking to educate himself on the local movement was Larry Stevens, a member of the Dixie Republican Forum.

“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.

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  • Spied October 11, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Who’s listening to the tosser with the mask on? Do you think anybody understood what he was saying? Sorry folks, I don’t like having control over every thing in my life either but I have things to do with my time.

  • LaMarcus October 12, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Voting out the incumbents is going to accomplish what, with our struggling national economy?

    Disclosure by local goverments can be accomplished by a GRAMA request. Happens all the time.

    Encourage more voters to come to the polls. That’s been encouraged around here at every election for as long as I can remember.

    Not much new information from the occupy group that I can see.

  • Red Mann October 12, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    1.) Tell & INSIST to all of your children NOT TO JOIN THE US military!
    3.) Start to generate some or all of your electricity NOW! The next dangerous “control meter that will be forced on you, The “Smart Meter” will be done so BY YOUR ELECTRIC COMPANY!
    4.) CLOSE ALL BANK ACCOUNTS AND MOE MONEY TO A CREDIT UNION. Not under bank charter rules. Money much safer. ****Check individual credit union’s financial health from easy to read balance sheet before opening accounts.
    5.) Start to send groups to demonstrate in front of the homes of “Targeted” Public Officials.
    Go to their kid’s schools and let all know there about their parents and their corrupt and/or violent actions. This would include police officers homes.

    The above would be a GOOD START!
    Have Fun!

  • urbanboy October 12, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    oh my god, get educated and quit ranting from your couch! A voice out in the streets is gonna draw more attention and spike thought way more than those of you drowned in ignorance hater-posting thru-out online media sources!! See you on Main Street, if not, atleast we got your attention 😛

  • peaches n cream October 12, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Silence can be golden, but at times like these, silence can be deadly…

  • tyler October 12, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    the city council as well as citizens need to get stirred up by today’s occupy movement. no matter what you may believe, tomorrow will be interesting and exciting cuz this city has never experienced a protest march to a city hall meeting! here comes your 99% and diversity, and what needs to change on the local level, good ole boys!!

  • News Flash! October 13, 2011 at 6:44 am

    There is not a City Council meeting tonight. They meet the 1st and 3rd Thursday. The 2nd and 4th Thursdays are optional. You could still come though. I think the folks at City Hall would enjoy a parade or costume party or what ever it is.

  • -Mike- October 14, 2011 at 8:51 am

    So, uhh, are you all the 7 people who showed up to the “march” yesterday?

    While I’ll agree that changes need to be made, it sounds like there needs to be some kind of agreement on the changes being requested. I know this article lists three of them, but everyone you talk to has their own list of demands, and it’s not going to get anything accomplished. Put a microphone in front of someone and the movement becomes their own, and the group’s goal becomes secondary.

    Good luck.

  • tyler October 15, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    @news flash, they know that, the march will ben next thurs. and mike, it probly isnt gonna change the world, but atleast it releases the frustration out on the street with the world today.

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