‘Occupy Raleigh’ supporters rally for change, opponents skeptical of movement

Published: October 09, 2011

The "Occupy Wall Street" movement was in its 23rd day of non-stop protest Sunday. The epicenter is a park in lower Manhattan’s financial district, but protests continue to spread to cities across the nation, including Raleigh. Hundreds gathered in Moore Square Sunday, armed with signs and opinions.

"Corporate greed has gone too far. The top one percent have gone too far in taking control over political parties of both sides and our government in general,” said Jeremy Gilchrist, who participated in the gathering.

“Feeling discontent with a lot of what’ s been happening. Kind of the deadlock in government and also the power that corporations have,” said particpant Mary Andreolli.

The “Occupy Raleigh” group called the rally a “general assembly,” essentially a planning session for next week’s planned protest.

"My hope is that throughout the course of the week that there will be more and more organizing that’s going on and next Saturday we’ll be talking about the agenda and talking about the demands and proposing those to the people in government,” said Andreolli.

Alan Cruickshank, who has been involved with the “Tea Party” movement, stopped by the event to see for himself. "Standing here talking about it is not solving the problem,” he said.

While he said the group shares similarities with his “Tea Party,” he doesn’t agree with much of what he heard.

“It seems like a lot of chaos and confusion. As a business owner most of what I’m hearing goes against the fiber of what I think needs to happen moving forward,” said Cruickshank.

Some supporters, however, believe they’ve already made an impact.

"I think at the very least it has woken the politicians up. Already I think some of them might be getting a little bit nervous at this point what is going to happen with this. I’m not even sure if everybody knows what’s going to happen with it,” said Gilchrist.

The protest is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 15 at 11 a.m. at the Old State Capital. Organizers said they hope about 1,000 will attend.In the past week, about 40 volunteers have offered to help and the local movement has raised about $700 online.

Source: NBC-17

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