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Checking in with Occupy

occupySANTA CRUZ >  Occupy Santa Cruz protests at Wells Fargo

On Wednesday, Feb. 15, around 50 demonstrators associated with Occupy Santa Cruz gathered in front of the Wells Fargo on Front Street. The group was protesting the charges against 11 activists who had been involved the 75 River St. occupation that took place late last year, as well as the city's overall treatment of homeless people.

“After being out on the streets, you definitely start to realize that we live in a police state,” said "JP," an activist holding signs condemning capitalism. “And now that the camp by the courthouse has been split up, homeless people are scattered around and business owners are starting to get upset again.”

 When asked about the current state of the OSC movement, JP said that the organization’s numbers have died down since the camp evacuation last December. “There’s a lot of coming and going, but right now there’s about 30 of us that are heavily involved," he said. "A lot of it has to do with the winter. I expect that we’ll pick up during the summer. Today, we got a lot of positive reception from people that passed by.”

The group of protestors convened in front of the bank at 3 p.m. and stayed until 6 p.m. Wells Fargo closed at 4 p.m., an hour earlier than they do normally. Nobody who worked in the bank could be reached for comment.

Robert Norse, one of the 11 defendants who is scheduled to be arraigned next week, told GT that out of the 11 people who were arrested for involvement with the 75 River St. occupation, five of them were reporters for alternative media outlets who were charged with vandalism, conspiracy and trespass. “Those charges are erroneous,” Norse says. “The Santa Cruz Police are targeting journalists who are sympathetic to the Occupy movement. We still have support, though—there’s a real common struggle that we’re all facing here.”

Several squad cars showed up across the street during the three hours that the protestors were at the bank, but nobody was told to leave. “You can expect more of these kinds of protests,” JP said.

Other protest and solidarity events coming up in the near future include a planned prison occupation on Feb. 20, a strike at UC Santa Cruz on March 1, and a March against foreclosure on March 11.

    

  

Comments (5)Add Comment
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written by Justin Kennedy, February 29, 2012
Felt I had to respond to Lou Cipher's comment. This article is neutrally reporting the comments of the Occupy protestors. Unfortunately I was unable to get any comment from security guards or the employees of the bank. I am not endorsing or putting down the Occupy movement, just reporting what they are currently saying.
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written by Psilocybanon, February 27, 2012
There was no reason for these people to be arrested. They were exercising their first amendment and if you don't like it, DON'T LISTEN!
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written by Robert Norse, February 19, 2012
Any reason my last comment hasn't posted? Please contact me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to clarify what your criteria are.
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written by Lou Cipher, February 19, 2012
the "occupy" movement is nothing more than bums, losers, and socialists. The fact that Norse is involved says it all. Of course "GT" is sympathetic, being the leftist rag that it is.
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written by Ed Zachary, February 18, 2012
The moral strength of peaceful civil disobedience comes from the willingness of the protesters to accept punishment for their actions because they so strongly believe in their cause. See Ghandi, or Nelson Mandella as examples. These protesters, however, seem to believe that they should be excused for breaking the law because they feel strongly about their positions ... not a lot of moral strength in that approach.

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