‘Occupy’ Movement Comes to Campus

Eric Bourse, El Vaquero Staff Writer

After 33 days and more than 900 cities, the Occupy movement has now spread to GCC.

On Thursday, more than 40 students and faculty members flowed into CR137 to attend the first meeting of Occupy LA at GCC and to show their support and solidarity for the ongoing worldwide protests.

Student Sarah Gould formed the group to inform students about the reasons and causes for the protests as well as to organize and do demonstrations of their own.

“There are no leaders in this movement and we are all equal,” said Gould. “All of your opinions matter.”

After the group participated in brainstorming, the group continued to evolve and set its goals and agendas. Subgroups focusing on media, finances and events were formed to divide the workload and get as many students and faculty involved as possible.

The media subgroup is planning on making Facebook pages, Youtube videos and podcasts.

Another subgroup focuses on educating those who wish to go participate protests on such topics as dress apparel, conduct and how to respond to questions from news organizations.

Daniel Bowen, 23, psychology, who volunteered to be in charge of media, was among the many and diverse participants that showed up for the meeting.

“I care about our country,” said Bowen. “I served in the Navy for four years and I’ve seen a lot of injustice. People are the most important part of our society and we should care for everyone. We should all be united for the right reasons.”

Gordon Alexandre, history professor and the group’s faculty adviser, said that he would offer his knowledge of historical demonstrations as well as experience as a protester from the 1960s.

“It’s great to vent and to have our voices our heard,” said Alexandre. “However, to make changes and to get legislature passed for financial reform, it will take months and most likely years. We can’t give up and we have to keep going.”

During the meeting, a student voiced her skepticism as well as concerns as to whether the group is anti-corporation. Michael Reed, geography professor, replied to her concerns.

“What we want is a fairer share, not to eliminate corporations,” said Reed. “Many corporations are solely servicing those at the very top of the chain while those at the bottom are receiving less and less.”

The first goal of the group is to have a demonstration on campus to create more awareness about the cause as well as the group.

“Nov. 5 is going to be a huge day for everyone involved in the movement,” said Gould. “Customers from mainstream banks such as Bank of America and CitiBank will be closing their accounts and opting for local credit unions.”

Gould also urged participants to boycott products from major corporations and to support smaller and local companies and businesses.

The group meets Thursdays at 12:20 p.m. in CR 137. The group’s Facebook page can be found under the name, “Occupy L.A. at Glendale Community College.” For more information on the ongoing protests in Downtown Los Angeles, go to http://www.occupylosangeles.com.