"Occupy Gainesville" Here to Stay
It's a movement that started in the Big Apple, and is popping up across the country; and tonight, it showed up in north central Florida.
"Occupy Gainesville" organizers, supporting the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrations, laid out their strategy for making a mark here.
"I can't be there, so this is the way I can be part of it," said Maggie Tingle, a Brooklyn native and current Gainesville resident.
"I'm a woman who has to get food stamps, has no medical coverage, has no insurance, and works part time, and my hours are constantly being cut," she said.
Tingle is one of hundreds who gathered in Gainesville Wednesday, coming from all walks of life, and this is just the planning stages of "Occupy Gainesville," set to begin on October 12th,and mimic New York's three-week old protest group.
"We will be occupying the central part of the city, in order to raise awareness for these very important issues," said Maya Garner, a local resident.
However, like Wall Street's movement, "Occupy Gainesville" doesn't have a clear focus.
"The working committees is a way to break it down into more manageable groups, to be able to come to a consensus and come up with solutions," she said.
As "Occupy Gainesville" works towards an identity, from this gathering, one thing is certain: it's not just hippies and peace activists.
"There's grandparents, there's parents, there's widows, there's lawyers, there's working class people, there's people without jobs, there's students," she said.
On their quest for change, these people say, they're in it for the long- haul.
"Just understand, it's not a quick fix, but just know there's a lot more people like me," said Tingle.
Organizers met with police Chief Tony Jones, to let police know about their plans for the "Occupy Gainesville" protest next week, scheduled to start at 8am Wednesday, in the downtown Bo Diddley plaza.
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