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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.

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.

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