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Maldonians Speak, Camp Out at Occupy Boston

Residents head down to Dewey Square to 'Occupy Boston.'

Note: Check out our footage from the .

While activists have yet to camp out in Malden Center, the "Occupy Wall Street" movement has inspired at least some residents to camp out in Boston's Dewey Park this week.

The makeshift tent city in Boston's financial district continues to grow, as “Occupy Boston” demonstrators maintain a tent city of about 100 dwellers just outside the city's federal reserve bank.

The group is made up of all kinds of activists: labor, anarchist, libertarian Ron Paul supporters and, perhaps most notably, otherwise politically conventional Americans who call themselves the “99 percent” – those comprising the bottom 99 percent of the American economy.

The protests, which started on Wall St. two weeks ago, have spread throughout the United States and the world, with activists holding demonstrations of various sizes in over 100 cities.

While activists with “Occupy Wall St.” have released a statement of principles, Boston activists continue to develop their own founding document.

One theme, though, remains consistent: that an economy in which the top one percent own 42 percent of the nation's wealth – while the bottom 80 retains only 7 percent – is an unsustainable model for a democratic society.

 

Both Malden's parents...

Small-business owner and father of two Gregg Housh said he was on Wall Street for the first day of the protests, and has been on the front lines ever since.

Housh describes himself as “far left,” but says he's fed up with the Democratic Party, too.

“If I had to choose, I'd vote Democrat, but I don't want to vote for them either,” he said. “I think the two party system is horribly broken; I think we need four or five (parties).”

Housh said he's been impressed with the movement's momentum, but that the time had come to start “getting the message down.”

“Where's our common ground?” he said, noting he was watching left-wing anarchists and Ron Paul supporters quietly sitting together as he spoke. “A lot of demands range from very similar to very far apart.”

Some consensus seems to have been reached on opposing the Bush tax cuts, re-instating the Glass–Steagall Act and revoking corporate personhood.

“Most of it is financial-, banking- or unemployment-related,” he said.

 

...and children are in attendance.

Malden High School online student Acacia Mucciarone said she always followed politics, but has never participated in a “big protest.”

Now the 18-year-old is camping out in Dewey Square, and volunteering as a spokesman for the activists. So far, the poised teenager has done interviews with New England Cable News, the BBC and more – and doesn't see the protests slowing down any time soon.

“There's a lot of people in my generation have gone to high school, completed college and still can't get a job,” she said.

“They have to live at home with their parents, can't start their lives or careers and that's really concerning to me – because, all of our lives, we've been told 'if you do this, if you do that,' you'll be okay. That's just not the case anymore.”

Mucciarone said she and her fellow volunteers have a spokesman on call 24/7, and receive hundreds of emails a day.

“I've hardly seen her at all the last two weeks,” her mother Lisa Mucciarone confirmed. “I was very worried at first, but feel better now.”

The group also holds what they call a “true” free market – a tent which offers free food and other wares to campers.

Other committees handle information, as well as logistics like providing blankets, pillows and other necessities to the activists.

Mucciarone said she had high hopes for sustaining the camp for the long haul. 

"I think as long as we stay dry and warm, we'll be okay," she said.

 

Interested?

Mucciarone encouraged Malden residents interested in participating to visit the site and check in with one of the information booths.

Many events and marches are developed on short notice, during the group's morning and evening general assemblies, which they tout as a "true" democratic process built on consenus.

You can also check out the group's website for more information.

Chris Caesar October 07, 2011 at 09:09 PM
Huh, no kidding. I wasn't trying to be coy or anything, I was really curious! I was wondering why they were getting away with it.
Kate Morrigan October 07, 2011 at 09:13 PM
There are no porta-potties, supplies are being donated by participants, not the city. Many people participating are employed and feel strongly enough to put their money where their mouths are.
Chris Caesar October 07, 2011 at 09:14 PM
Kate, are you sure about that? I thought I saw two porta potties by the entrance.
Kate Morrigan October 07, 2011 at 09:14 PM
How do you get from "mayor doesn't disband a protest because he believes in first amendment rights" to "mayor supports protest"?
Joe Gray October 07, 2011 at 09:17 PM
??? Coy? I missed that. I thought you were asking a straight question. I'm too bland right now to read anything odd into this. Just trying to put information out there for everyone to chew on. This Occupy event is a big issue in the country right now. I'm curious about Kate. I'm a skeptic and am curious on how far Kate will take this event and what exactly she will learn from it in the end. I see thought patterns similiar to my own daughter and am observing so that I can prepare for the future, if this happens to me.
Kate Morrigan October 07, 2011 at 09:18 PM
No, those are storage sheds for the farmers market.
Joe Gray October 07, 2011 at 09:26 PM
Kate: I try not to make statements in a vacuum and I try real hard to back them up. Read first sentence from the following news article from NPR and then tell me that support for Occupy Boston isn't coming from the highest levels. We can quibble about the actual details of the support, but when the Governor speaks, all of us, including the mayor of Boston, have to pay heed. http://www.wbur.org/2011/10/07/occupy-boston-4
Chris Caesar October 07, 2011 at 09:26 PM
Ah, okay. You guys are braver than I thought. :) In fairness, you see something that looks like a porta potty with references to fertilizer (I think?) on the door, one can make assumptions. Ha ha.
Chris Caesar October 07, 2011 at 09:30 PM
I can see her point though. It sounds like you are suggesting there is vast material support for this from several levels of government. I don't think I spoke to a single person at the protest that was supportive of the President or the Democrats.
Joe Gray October 07, 2011 at 09:31 PM
State Treasurer of Massachusetts to serve Ice Cream to protesters. I can't make this stuff up. Government support, no matter how you splice it, is government support. See article below. http://www.patriotledger.com/mobile/x1038179737/Cautious-support-in-Mass-for-Occupy-Wall-Street-protests
Chris Caesar October 07, 2011 at 09:33 PM
Political leaders politically supporting the protesters is a lot different then suggesting it is being "heavily subsidized" by the government though. The Tea Party also had political supporters in government.
Kate Morrigan October 07, 2011 at 09:34 PM
Well that first sentence does say they support us, but it doesn't say anything about where or how. We certainly haven't been getting care packages from the White House.I guess where I'm getting hung up is the word "support." As far as supporting in the vague "I'm okay with this" sense, I'm sure that there are a lot of people in government, including possibly the mayor and governor, who support this. I don't know a lot of politicians who got into the business to make people shut up and do as they're told. I just feel like a lot of people are attempting to imply that there's more logistical or ideological support and possibly even control coming down from another body, and that is emphatically not the case.
Joe Gray October 07, 2011 at 09:35 PM
Here is part of the money trail Chris. Tax dollars involved. No accounting of how much. Very interesting: In a statement issued by the Rose F. Kennedy Conservancy on Thursday, Executive Director Nancy Brennan called “OccupyBoston” an extraordinary situation,” but said protestors had agreed to abide by “common sense rules of conduct.” The Conservancy said it would cover the “negligible” electricity costs and the expense of reseeding the Dewey Square lawn out of its operations budget, supported by a blend of state and private money. Read more: http://www.patriotledger.com/archive/x1038179737/Cautious-support-in-Mass-for-Occupy-Wall-Street-protests#ixzz1a8NSIweK
Chris Caesar October 07, 2011 at 09:40 PM
> the "negligible" electricity costs > "heavily subsidized by the government" I think that's a little bit of a leap. If Menino starts bussing activists into the city on the taxpayer dollar, then you might be onto something.
Kate Morrigan October 07, 2011 at 09:44 PM
The occupants have already voted to donate their time and labor to the reseeding project in the spring, and since the conservancy is a non-profit that accepts monetary donations they've encouraged people to donate as well. And from that article: Asked about the Occupy protests during a morning press conference, President Barack Obama declined to endorse their views but argued that their effort “expresses the frustrations that the American people feel.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
Kate Morrigan October 07, 2011 at 09:46 PM
Joe, I feel like we have an awful lot to talk about on this subject and maybe the comments area of a blog isn't the best place to do so. Since we're both (theoretically) local, why not meet up to hash out some of this in person? We could invite Chris, it'd make for a great beer summit :)
Chris Caesar October 07, 2011 at 09:48 PM
Haha, a beer summit. Should I book Camp David?
Kate Morrigan October 07, 2011 at 09:52 PM
We can "occupy" the park across from the post office!
Joe Gray October 07, 2011 at 09:52 PM
A statement of "negligible" in reference to the electricity and other maintenance costs from someone not not required to account in any way for how much is being spent, is taken in the vagueness it was spoken. Negligible can only be answered by the person speaking it and speculated on by those of us out here who have no idea how "much" money is being discussed. Any leap we make is justifiable since we will likely never here the full cost of this. Your, unleap is just as valid as my leap. You do have to admit that tax payer money of an unknown amount is being spent on this. If you wish me to expand this from a Malden focus out to the national scene, I can dredge up article after article detailing lots of money and resources from tax payers and private groups being poured into this. It's all over the dial. I'm not even sounding coherent anymore. I'll tune in later.
Chris Caesar October 07, 2011 at 09:53 PM
This is true, but I think we can infer they are not using a tremendous amount of electricity, that's all I mean.
Chris Caesar October 07, 2011 at 10:11 PM
Eh, it's probably made of people or something :)
Joe Gray October 08, 2011 at 02:37 AM
I never said that anyone at the protest supported the president, governor or mayor of Boston. If you re-read my post, you'll see that I always state or impy that support rolls downhill towards the protesters, not the other way around.
Joe Gray October 08, 2011 at 02:40 AM
The Boy Scouts as well as the Tea Party has support in government, but that isn't what we are talking about. A distraction. At the national level, heavy subsidizing is happening.
Joe Gray October 08, 2011 at 02:43 AM
You don't have to publicly endorse a movement to inspire one. The president endorsed an Middle Eastern Spring and called for an American Spring movement. It seems to be playig out now, just like in Tahrir Square, in the beginning.
Joe Gray October 08, 2011 at 02:45 AM
I'm laying off of beer for health reasons and I'm fuzzy on if you're old enough for beer. Maybe someday we can do tea. I like tea and crackers.
Kate Morrigan October 08, 2011 at 02:47 AM
Still young enough to get carded, but plenty old enough to drink. Tea is fine, too.
Joe Gray October 08, 2011 at 02:48 AM
The teachers union has joined this wall street protest today. Being part of the teachers union is bringing this closer to home to me now. I'll sit back and watch to see how this plays out now. Depending om how this plays out, it could affect everyone in unpredictable ways.
Joe Gray October 11, 2011 at 01:27 PM
Kate: Let us know that you're OK. I'm hearing and seeing reports of multiple arrests at the Occupy protests. Some reports indicate that Menino might be tiring of hosting the Occupy crowd.
Kate Morrigan October 11, 2011 at 02:18 PM
I couldn't be there last night. Gregg made it home okay, too, I don't know about Acacia yet.
Rick O'Shea October 15, 2011 at 01:40 AM
My moral is: Don't do make minor edits to other peoples work so that they look like they came out of you cranium and not credit them.

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