Occupy Pittsburgh Plans Downtown March and Rally
Mary Ellen Persuit recently attended the Tar Sands pipeline protest in Washington, DC, organized the Gasland screening at the Sewickley Library, and became involved in the Marburger Dairy protest in Butler County.
The Sewickley resident now has plans for Oct. 15.
That’s when organizers of Occupy Pittsburgh plan to take action in Western Pennsylvania, joining a movement that has spread internationally from the initial Wall Street demonstrations.
Persuit said the time for action is now.
“We’ve lost our communities. We’re losing our middle class in the name of the dollar bill. And that’s why we are trying to rise up with the little bit of the democracy we have left before money takes over,” Persuit said.
An estimated 300 people interested in joining the grassroots movement attended the first meeting Oct. 5 at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Shadyside.
Nathaniel Glosser, who is helping to organize the Pittsburgh event, said the group held a second meeting Sunday night and collectively came up with a plan for action.
Occupy Pittsburgh plans to seek a permit for a large-scale march and rally from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in and around Downtown. Following the march and rallies, Glosser said, the group planned to start an occupation in a location yet to be determined.
“We’re not positive where it’s going to be yet. There are several options, but we’re going to work with the city to make this happen and we’re willing to be flexible in a short period of time,” Glosser said.
Glosser said the occupation would probably take on a number of different forms and may take place in a number of places.
“It’s going to be a 24-7 occupation,” he said.
Pittsburgh’s event will coincide with a worldwide event called for Saturday, but Glosser said Occupy Pittsburgh isn’t formally connected with Occupy Wall Street, though the local movement is inspired by the Wall Street demonstrations and stands with it in solidarity.
Glosser, an experienced organizer and longtime activist, said the initial movement caught his eye as soon as it began. He is excited about it, he said.
“This, I believe, is going to result in a critical mass of people who are demanding real change and I’ve got to be a part of that,” he said.
Glosser said the solidarity movement demands “freedom from the culture of corporate greed and corruption, and undue political influence that has destroyed our economy and disrupted lives throughout the U.S. and the world.”
He said more than 100 groups have formed in cities across the U.S. and more than 50 internationally, following in the path of Occupy Wall Street. In Pittsburgh, Glosser said, there’s a remarkable energy.
“Our numbers seem to be doubling every couple of days,” he said.
The movement, which began four weeks ago, has been met with criticism. Many critics have said the Occupy movement lacks a specific message and is based on anger over the economy rather than facts.
Persuit said that’s simply not true.
“Money is creating gridlock in our government to the point where the people’s voices aren’t being heard. These people want to be and need to be heard because the middle class is being annihilated.”
Glosser said anyone interested in learning more can call 724-343-1433
The group also has a website, occupypittsburgh.org, which is currently being redesigned.
Occupy Pittsburgh Protest Planned
PITTSBURGH — A western Pennsylvania group saysit’s planning a protest this month in Pittsburgh modeled on the Occupy Wall Street events that have made headlines in New York and several other large cities.
Occupy Pittsburgh has a Facebook page, and organizers held a meeting Wednesday night at the First Unitarian Church in Shadyside.
The group of about 300 didn’t arrive at any firm plans, except to say they’ll organize some sort of downtown protest on Oct. 15, according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report.
A protest in New York resulted in 700 arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday. Other cities include Boston, Seattle and Tampa, Fla.
Protesters are drawing attention to several issues — including corporate greed and income inequality — but mostly unemployment.