On Saturday — the first anniversary of the Occupy Movement — about 200 people marched through downtown Spokane, waving signs, chanting and reminding corporate America that Occupiers haven’t given up on their fight for justice.
“What’s the point of all this?” asked Wayne Spitzer, of Occupy Spokane, “The thing is, the authorities are watching us … because we’ve showed them that another world is possible, and it scares the piss out of them, frankly.”
He said that other world, one of happiness and equality, is inevitable because Occupy can’t be stopped.
“I know change is coming,” he said.
The group paraded from bank to bank as part of the Day of Global Protest March for Peace chanting phrases like, “Show me what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like!” and “The road to peace, U.S. out of the Middle East!”
At Chase Bank they shouted, “Chase Bank you can’t hide, we can see your greedy side!”
There, Justin Ellenbecker who co-organized the event, told the crowd that they were the risk takers, not America’s wealthy.
“What are they really risking? The real risk takers are here, on the main streets, not on Wall Street,” he said. “The immigrants that come to this country in spite of our atrocious laws….those are the risk takers… The students who are willing to get an education and take out a loan knowing the rest of their lives they may have insurmountable debt; those are the risk takers. You are the risk takers.”
Liz Moore, director of the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane, said change happens by people coming together and standing up for what’s right.
“Everyday people can do extraordinary things together,” she said.
She stood of Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ office and said Eastern Washington residents should be taking care of each other, instead of fueling unsuccessful wars in other countries.
“We have a responsibility as Americans to make that change,” Moore said. “We can make better choices.”
The Occupy Movement has been protesting the current economic structure and working to make power relations in society fair. For information on how to get involved visit the Occupy Spokane website.
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Tracy Simmons is an award-winning journalist specializing in religion reporting and digital entrepreneurship. In her approximate 20 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti. Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas, Connecticut and Washington. She is the executive director of SpokaneFāVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Washington. She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and national publications. She is a Scholarly Assistant Professor of Journalism at Washington State University.