The University of Iowa University of Iowa

Occupy Iowa City

By KRUI News Reporter Betsy Penisten

On the brisk fall evening of October 7th, generations young and old assembled in College Green Park in Iowa City in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street protesters. Their intent: to peacefully challenge economic, social and political injustices.

The ongoing revolution will give the people of Iowa City the chance to express support as well as challenge an array of issues including the economy, the war, Europe, and China.

Numerous demonstration signs began sprouting up from the grass while chalk-written feelings of frustration on corporate America decorated the cement paths stretching throughout the park: “Free Tibet,” “Stop Cutting Vet Benefits,” “Save our Taxpayers,” “Money isn’t real,” and “If not Us, who?”

“The country is in a place that it really has never been in before,” said occupier Mauro Heck, a University of Iowa Alumni and resident of Iowa City for 28 years. “I think that there are some dangers looming on the horizon that have to do with a lot of different issues, the resistance in Congress, Senate, so on against Obama.”

Heck and other members made it clear that the movement is not only in support of local issues, but national as well.

“I think people are bottling it up inside. There’s a level of energy and people somehow have to dissipate that energy. We’re not really hard hit with the economy, but I think people feel for the people that really are.  It’s a way to support whatever else is happening in New York, LA, San Francisco and the rest of the country.”

The general assembly had a good turn out of occupiers of all generations with many different backgrounds. Veterans, teachers, high school and college students were all in attendance along with children.

“It’s hard enough for me to try and survive and be able to stay in school. I can’t even get a decent wage,” said occupier Naomi Bartlett, college student and resident of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “I work for Casey’s and it’s ridiculous. I do the work, I do all of the work and all of these corporate big shots are making millions. I’m barely even over minimum wage, I’m sick of it.”

The movement has officially begun and will be ongoing. Individuals from all over Iowa will attend the daily general assembly at 7 p.m. to gather in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protest. The movement is intended to be peaceful, as the occupiers will continue to focus on issues that are not just political, but affect the social fabric as well.

“This is still at a candle sort of fire, but this could spread to be something a lot more dramatic possibly,” said Heck speaking on behalf of Occupy Iowa.