Supporter: Occupy Austin reunion gives ‘hope’ for movement’s

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Supporter: Occupy Austin reunion gives ‘hope’ for movement’s

Postby harry ashburn » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:36 pm

Supporter: Occupy Austin reunion gives ‘hope’ for movement’s future http://www.statesman.com/news/news/loca ... mov/nWFcn/


By Claudia Grisales and Farzad Mashhood

American-Statesman Staff


A revival of the Occupy Austin movement at the City Hall plaza Sunday brought new hope to the group and its plans for the future, a supporter of the effort said Monday.

The group returned to the plaza Sunday afternoon to mark the one-year anniversary of a successful police effort Feb. 3, 2012, to break up the encampment.

At it’s peak Sunday, about 30 people joined the Occupy Austin reunion at the plaza, said Kit O’Connell, one of the protesters.

“I was very happy with how it went,” O’Connell said by phone. “It was great to see so many people come out and especially people we had not seen since police had removed us from City Hall. It gave me hope for Occupy’s future.”

Originally formed in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement to protest the growing income gap in America, the profits of large corporations and the influence of money in politics, the Occupy Austin group Sunday displayed many of the trappings of their previous 4-month-long presence in front of City Hall: tents, protest signs, a megaphone, a food table and slogans written in chalk on the plaza.

The group had arrived about noon Sunday and dubbed the daylong effort a success by 9 p.m., packing up their tents and other belongings to return another day, O’Connell said.

An Austin police spokesman had said there were no plans to break up the group as long as they remained a “peaceful protest.”

O’Connell said while there was police presence at the gathering Sunday, “we didn’t feel threatened when we left.”

“The point was made by the people there. We accomplished what we wanted to do, honoring the camp we had and making plans for the future,” he said. “We didn’t necessarily feel the need to stay.”

Now, Occupy Austin will continue its weekly meetings, to make plans for future appearances. The meetings take place Monday nights at the state Capitol steps, O’Connell said.

“We are meeting today to debrief about the day and make our next plan,” he said. “I’m sure we will have more appearances.”

Among the plans, they are looking to join forces with the Musical March for Peace, another Austin effort, for a march to City Hall during South by Southwest.

That effort, slated to begin around 1 p.m. March 16, will begin at the state Capitol and end at the City Hall plaza, O’Connell said. A concert is then planned at the City Hall plaza about 4 p.m., he said.

“We will definitely be at South by Southwest, at City Hall,” O’Connell added. But “I don’t know if we will be back before then.”
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