Occupy Provo is a group that has branched off from Occupy Wall Street and consists of mainly college students who are in the active pursuit of making changes to help Americans have better lives.
“This movement, its message and its demands are simply shouting back to us the very values that we already have,” said Dr. Michael Minch, director of the Peace and Justice Studies Department at UVU. “We need to get over that fear which keeps some of us from hearing our own values presented back to us. I think that’s the heart of the issue.”
Dr. Minch further explained that the Occupy Wall Street movement is a battle of social and economic classes. He said that the movement was about values and that everyone deserves a decent life.
“In contrary to UVU, the people at the forefront of this are college students. The bill is going to come due. If things don’t change dramatically, people your age are going to have a very diminished life,” Dr. Minch said. “This is the first generation in American history where you will not have a quality life as good as your parents. I hope we are wrong about that, but that is the widely held view of things.”
The Occupy Wall Street movement kicked off their first protest Sept. 17, 2011 in New York City. By using social media the Occupy movement has since spread dramatically to various cities across the United States. However, most stories that are making mainstream news are stories discussing violence, arrests and demonstration lockdowns.
“The government themselves are putting so much effort into trying to silence us and trying to silence the message,” said Tyler Galovich, a head volunteer for Occupy Salt Lake. “Our main point in which we all stand by is we want corporate money out of the government. All we want is there to be a regulation.”
The Occupy Wall Street demonstration’s ultimate concern is that the government is putting profit before people. Protestors across the United States have chanted, “We are the 99 percent and you are the one percent.”
When asked the difference between the 99 percent and the one percent, Occupy Provo explained that the 99 percent are the people who mostly make up our country and the one percent are those who make over eight million dollars a year in the United States.
“If you don’t know what the movement is about, if you disagree with us, if you are for the movement, whatever your stance is you should come and initiate a dialogue with us. Go to the source and get the information,” said Jessica Burnham, spokesperson for Occupy Provo.
“[Students] should care because their future and their children’s future are imperiled,” Dr. Minch said in regard to why students should care about this movement.
Occupy Provo has general assemblies at 7 p.m. each day at Broiler Express on 1620 North 200 West Street in Provo. The meetings are organized and are conducted in a parliamentary style. Occupy Provo also has a Facebook page that is updated regularly.
By Emily Stephenson