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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Occupy Wall Street movement has spread to more than 800 cities across the country and has now made its way into Wilmington. More than 100 citizens went to Occupy Wilmington’s first meeting to voice their concerns and ideas and discuss their goals and role in the Port City.

“It’s not about anything other than people getting together to spread a message,” Occupy Wilmington member Archie Caufield said. “If we do it here, we do it just because the people in Wall Street did it, and it was a good idea, and we thought maybe we could do it here and maybe help change the community just a little bit in a productive, peaceful kind of way.”

Caufield says the group is leaderless and is about individuals of all ages, colors and backgrounds spreading a message of inspiration, enlightenment and change.

Member Joe Santos says that message is economic inequality and putting an end to the greed of the nation’s wealthiest one percent.

“This is simply pointing out that there are a great deal of people in this country that are truly having problems, and we want to present that on a local basis,” Santos said.

Occupy members call themselves the 99 percent; meaning they are not part of the one percent they say stockpiles money and controls our economy and politicians from top to bottom. The group’s first general assembly lasted several hours and was full of many personalities and ideas. Members say Saturday was all about figuring out the what, when, where and how they will make their presence known in Wilmington.

“It’s not unorganized if we stand as individuals for a common movement and a common voice,” Caufield said. “Which is not that we are individuals, not that we have any relation to money or anything other than we just wish for things to be fair and equal.”

Occupy Wilmington is looking for a home base because they say they are a 24/7 operation. The group plans to organize marches around the city, specifically around the corporations they say control our local economy, like big banks and New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

“We are nonviolent,” urged Santos. “We mean no violence to anyone, no one’s property, no one’s person.”

It was proposed that members remove their money from national banks and put it into local banks and for members to move to a doctor who is not affiliated with New Hanover Regional Medical Center if possible.

The group adopted the Occupy Wall Street Statement as the foundation for Occupy Wilmington. Occupy Wilmington members say the movement is not just made up of the unemployed or young college students but people from all walks of life who have grievances against the power that big banks and corporations have.


Comment on this Story

  • Meg

    The whole point of the argument is that the 99% do not have money to give. Duh! My family of 3 lives on less than 30,000 a year and we both work 50+ hours. We owe 40,000 in student loans, and have to make payments of 400 a month. Along with rent, car payments, etc. we barely have money to put food on the table. We are slaves to the banks. Where does the greed stop???

  • someone literate

    I guess if your an idiot and like to settle for your money being stolen…you would think were stupid..you must be living off of well fair and rely on the government…wich is why your content with being taken advantage of..good luck…nuff said..lol

  • Jen

    Give our money away?! We already are! thats the whole point we don’t have anything left to give!!

  • guesty

    I’ll try posting again and I will almost bet my earlier post will magically appear.

    Good for you about staying clear of debt and managing your life correctly.
    Don’t worry about my reading comprehension, you should go with the latter of your assumptions.

  • guesty

    I would hope a car bought in 2002 would be paid off as well as a home purchased 35 years ago.

  • Guest Lee

    I think you’re misunderstanding my post. I was expressing how I have been enjoying the fruits of my labor for many years now, free of mortgages and titles, and I haven’t rushed back into debt to buy a more expensive house or car.

    Geeeezzzz Guesty, I thought you could comprehend better than that! Maybe you were just trying to be a smart*ass? If so, you accomplished your mission.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    …as an investment?

    Why did you buy it: To live there or to make money on it? To raise your kids there or increase your net worth?

    There’s nothing wrong with real estate investments, but when you view your house as first and foremost an asset, and secondarily your home, you have your priorities all mixed up.

    If you bought it because that’s where you wanted to live, then being “underwater” would mean very little.

    On a side note, defaulting on your mortgage when you still have the ability to pay, simply because you’re underwater, clearly indicates that you have the ethics of that idiot running around town in the spiderman costume robbing gas stations at gun point.

    Identical ethics…..he just has more testosterone and/or backbone.

  • Guest Lee

    I bought my home almost 35 years ago for $32,000 as a HOME, not an investment. I still live there, have no mortgage, and my home has increased in value to about $140,000. I never plan to sell it because I love it there. And in this economy, it’s really nice to not have a mortgage. Oh yes, and I bought my car in 2002 and it’s paid in full too.

  • Billy Carlyle

    Every person that is on some sort of government help is not freeloading. Some of the people recieving government assistance are laid off employees, laid off by the 1% so they don’t have to give up their bonuses. You might think that the person should do 40 hours of work washing school buses, boxing food, and planting crops… but then how are they supposed to find a real job to replace the one they lost. Oh, I guess they can use the spare time after they get off the labor job and after the kids go to sleep (because they can’t afford childcare)so they can sneak out without waking them up and apply for all the jobs after midnight…. OH dang, they’re not open. I guess since you can’t apply to jobs that aren’t open on weekends, on the weekends, then they should just be happy from losing their.. lets say a job they perhaps made 50,000+ a year to cleaning ditches for the rest of their life. NO, SORRY… the problem is the elite… they didn’t work to get there as you claim… most of them lied, cheated, claimed bankruptcy a few times, scammed on their taxes (yes, the same taxes you are arguing of yours that is going to these programs…. they are getting out of paying), laid off hard workers (like the one who is on government assistance right now) for cheap labor in third world countries or better yet child-labor (it’s cheaper), scammed the consumers by supplying crap service and materials and argue to get out of the warranties that only last a year now (they used to last years when they products were durable), and buy out politicians to make sure laws are passed in their favor and screw the public. It is time for the educated minds out of the 99% of this country to start coming together and changing the system. I don’t want my children to grow-up in a country where they don’t have the opportunity to live the American dream because we allowed the fat cat capitalist to use it up during his prime. Something has to give… and I applaud these people for at least trying to make a difference. Everyone always wants things to change, but then go home and watch tv until they fall asleep. Then wake-up forgetting about any change until the next time they come across it on… yes, their tv again… while watching and falling asleep. A repetitious cycle the government hopes you fall for because it’s their agenda to begin with… suppress the masses by counting on America’s laziness…. and it’s working.

  • scott chiverton

    I am a 100% disabled Veteran receiving a check every month. Are you calling me a free loader?

  • GuestXXX

    These people are stupid. Nuff said!

  • Debbie

    Let me settle this argument right now. If this group really believes their rhetoric, they would put THEIR money where their mouth is. No one is stopping any member of Occupy Wilmington from marching to Social Services on 16th/17th Street and giving their money to any individual with their hand out. The members of Occupy Wilmington have the right to give THEIR money to anyone. If Occupy Wilmington/Wall Street members gave their money away then their protest would have some validity.

  • SurfCityTom

    and I still did not get their message other than:

    1. They propose marching around big business. Wonder how long the new owners of PPD will smile on that and would they move the operations to another locale? And how many new businesses will move here with a river full of quackers?

    2. They want to redistribute wealth. Isn’t that considered stealing? And haven’t the Communists shown that does not work. Look at the economies in Russia, Cuba, and Moldava for starters.

    3. If they boycott Doctors associated with NHRMC, where will they go to get their health care?

    They might have made more of an impact had they met on the common grounds at Creekwood and picked up trash while they were there.

  • Grand Ole Party

    We are happy. We enjoy our lives. Simple as that life might seem to you, we love every second of every day. We work hard, we earn our money, and we will be damned if some lazy yankee come lately is going to dip into our pockets. Ignorant majority? Maybe, but so much for you’re 99% In the end it is pretty simple, if you don’t like our way of life, get the hell out and don’t come back. You are no longer welcome.

  • Grand Ole Party

    COMMENTARY | “I made my last mortgage payment on Nov. 1, 2009. Bank Of America changed the locks on my house on Sept. 29, 2011.” says integrity louse Ryan J. Downey, in a Huffington Post article published Saturday. In the article Downey goes on to describe the process that lead him to renege on the mortgage he took on a $422,000 home in 2006, which he claims is five years later valued at $253,000.

    Throughout the article, Downey explains the process he suggests when walking away from a mortgage and the absurd, but entirely too common justifications he used when making the choice to choose self-interest over personal integrity. He goes on to describe the things he wasn’t told in advance of his choice to buy a home: “It certainly wasn’t clear” he says at one point, “that my house would eventually be worth less than half what I owed on it; that my small business would suffer from a bad economy; that half the houses on my suburban double cul de sac would fall into foreclosure;”

    He rails against the banks for failing to disclose various types of loans, and even goes so far as to say “Nobody told me that some folks miss as many as two years worth of payments before they have to move out of their home. Or that the bank may even hand you a few thousand dollars to quietly evacuate without dumping plant killer all over your upgraded landscaping, ripping out the microwave or spray painting ‘the mortgage crisis sucks!’ on the garage.”

    What he doesn’t tell you is that banks are in the business of buying and selling money. It’s a product. They aren’t obligated to give you the best deal they can possibly give you. They are obligated to their shareholders to sell you the most profitable package they can possibly sell you. Nobody trusts car salesman. Why on earth did they ever trust bankers? That’s absurd.

    Downey didn’t tell you that integrity isn’t graded on a curve, but rather that integrity is about living up to your commitments regardless of the actions of others. In fact all he did, and all that the people taking part in the Occupy Wall Street protests have done, is to accuse corporations and banks of the very same sort of gaming of the system that people like Downey have done a million times over. Downey even advocates such behavior, saying in a section of the article subtitled “What will the neighbors say?” “The honest ones will ask you for advice. The proud ones will probably end up with papers taped to their doors, too.”

    The banks didn’t destroy our economy. Unscrupulous consumers did. Banks, actually, for the most part (I will conceded that there were some exceptions), did exactly what they said they would do, and in Downey’s case, it took them two years to do it, while he lived rent-free. People like Downey are what destroyed the economy. I have some suggestions for the people occupying Wall Street: Go occupy a barber shop, a shower, a laundromat, and then occupy yourselves in the task on looking after yourselves and ceasing with this ridiculous notion that somebody owes you something. No one said it was going to be easy.

    Help is great, and I think the government should be doing everything they can to help those few people who are suffering for no fault of their own. I’m not heartless. But neither am I brainless. When we rediscover our integrity, we will rediscover our economy.

  • This is a letter to OWS from FedUpUSA, one of the original Tea Parties:

    We support you in exercising your First Amendment Right. We are outraged that any peaceful demonstrator would be assaulted or abused by any authorities.

    If you are protesting because there are no jobs— We stand with you.

    We are for a free economy and recognize that what we have now is NOT a free economy; it is not capitalism – what we have is a fascist state or crony-capitalism. There is nothing free about doing business with Countries that manipulate their currencies to attract cheap labor. We agree that these jobs need to come back to America.

    If you are protesting because no one has gone to jail— We stand with you.

    Regardless of what is being said from the white house and media, we know that there are many in the financial district and the banks that have committed fraud and outright theft and we too want to see them prosecuted. We support: STOP THE LOOTING & START PROSECUTING.

    If you are protesting because everything costs more— We stand with you.

    We see prices rise in our food, gas, clothes yet our wages have stayed the same or have decreased. The Federal Reserve has bailed everyone out but us and not only are we going to have to pay for that, those bailouts make the price of everything else go up because it devalues our currency. We support monetary reform.

    If you are protesting because you are tired of our bought and paid for government on both sides— We stand with you.

    We are also against the banks and big corporations buying our politicians and writing laws that favor their special interests. We understand that our economy is broken BECAUSE of this and that all of our other issues will never be addressed as long as the financial elite control OUR government.

    We understand that these issues cross party lines and ideologies and effect each and every one of us. We also understand that these issues will never get fixed as long as we continue to let the media, the elite, and members of the government separate us by our differing ideologies.

    Only Together, can we Implement Change

    It is time, We Americans, put our ideologies in our back pocket and not let them separate us so that we can work together for this ONE COMMON GOAL: to get the special interest money and elite out of OUR Government and return it to US— the people.

    As long as the banks, largest corporations, and wealthy elite control our government, we will never have a representative republic and laws will continue to be passed that only benefit the few 1% at the expense of us 99%!

    Demand that NOT ONE MORE LAW gets passed until they pass:

    Lobby reform:

    It is a Federal Offense punishable by a minimum 5 years in prison to:

    Lobby any member of the US Congress outside of the district you live, work, or own a business.

    Lobby a member of congress while they are physically outside the district they represent.

    Campaign Reform:

    It is a Federal Offense punishable by a minimum 5 years in prison to:

    For any one person, corporation, enterprise, group, union or the like, to donate more than $2,000 to any one candidate during one campaign period.

    For any member of the media to deny equal access to competing candidates.

    These two laws will cut the control the Financial elite have on our government by leveling the playing field. You will have just as big as a voice with your representative as the big box retailer that resides in your town. Simply, it will end the Crony-Capitalism that is strangling our economy.

    I encourage all my fellow Tea Partiers to join Occupy Wall Street protesters in their non-violent, peaceful protests and together demand that the Government be returned to the people. After all, this is precisely what the Tea Party was intended to be before it was taken over and marginalized by the establishment politicians.



  • Southern Scholar

    Be careful of how you refer to all southerners as ‘ignorant’, especially considering that you obviously have chosen to live amongst us. Some are smarter than others, but that includes all geographical people groups, and I know, you’re amazed. Geographical IS such a big word for one of us ‘ignorant’ hillbilly’s.
    Tread lightly, on your way back home.

  • The real problem with our country isn’t the “1 percent”, most of them earned it, it’s the 29% who live off the others. It’s the freeloading mother of three who will not tell who the daddy or daddies are so that every hard working taxpayer has to pay the sorry thing’s (who layed up with her and made the baby) child support.
    She sits up in her government apartment with her Obama phone, and her free medical care eating her food stamp food. Look at the people using food stamps, most every one of them are overweight and drive nice cars. They buy drinks, candy bars, chips, snack foods all the time, kids want to eat, let’s go to the 7-11 store and get snack food. When the little no-father fatties get to school age they get free breakfest and lunch at school (again paid by taxpayers) but the freeloading mom-whore at home STILL gets the same amount of foodstamps so now the freeloading is also double dipping.
    Now to fix our country, we only have to do this;
    Stop the food stamp or food card program, have boxes made up with what is needed to live based on the number of people who are to be at the house and give them out weekly, no sodas, no candy, no chips and no steaks, this should be reduced when the children are in school eating for free also.
    Anyone getting anything else from the government (housing, any type of check or help) must report to work for 40 hours each week and they will be given a job to do to earn it for the week. Example of this could be picking up trash on the side of the road, cleaning out ditches, mopping floors at the school, making up the above noted boxes of food, planting and picking crops for the same boxes of food, washing school buses, police cars etc. Point is something good for the country in exchange for the country’s help.
    Last, pass a law that if anyone works an illegal, they go to jail for 72 hours,(no trial, just like slapping your wife- 72 hours period) and make it for the CEO of the company, if 10 illegals are workin then 720 hours in jail- period. Now make it the same for anyone caught housing or renting to them. No work + no place to live equals they go back south. Don’t say they do the jobs that we wan’t do, I just covered that above, the jobs can be assigned to the “government workers” as outlined above.
    Now the only people working are Americans and every one of them are doing something, no more free rides, and everything is good.

  • TJ Paine

    1 – Please remember I-95 isn’t a one-way street. You are still free to go back where you came from, if it’s SO bad here. Yeah, NC has it’s share of dummies, too, but if that’s all you can find to complain about, you just haven’t been paying attention.

    2 – I’ll believe corporations are “people” when Texas executes one.

    3 – The Federal gov’t. is nothing but a tool for the big corporations, and those that run them. It was meant to have a VERY limited role in the life of the people. Its proven over & over that the only 2 things its good at are breaking things & killing people. Until it can secure our own borders, it has no business overseas, AT ALL. No foreign wars, no foreign aid, NOTHING. Issue passports, put tarriffs on countries that tarriff our exports, bomb the crap out of countries that explicitly threaten us, shoot anything that crosses our borders, and take the rest of the week off. Everything else can, and was meant to, be handled at the state level, or the local level.

    4 – No one has any right to my “stuff”. Not the gov’t, the poor, the rich, nobody. AND I don’t have a right to theirs. What I DO have a right to, is to keep the big corporations from teaming up with the Feds to tilt the playing field in their favor. The best way to do this is to buy local, and from the smallest company that can meet your needs, at a price you can afford.

    5 – How many of you went to a Tea Party event? Were the people you met there anything like the way they were portrayed on MSNBC? Then why would you think all of the OWS people are as nuts as the couple Fox decides to show? I’m not going to tell you what to think about them, but if you feel like you just HAVE to have a strong opinion about them one way or the other, why don’t you look at some of their websites and official info, instead of forming your opinion based on the 10 second clips shown on networks owned by the very companies (right AND left), that they’re protesting?

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    Speaking of hypocrisy, what evil, greedy corporation made that computer you’re banging away on? Do you even know why a corporation is formed, Barney?

    Feel free to drop in and compare houses, vehicles, income, net worth, or education any time you’d care to.

    Good luck out there in the streets – you’re going to need it.

  • Guest223

    spell “usefull” correctly? It’s useful you moron. As I told an earlier poster, it’s not just in the South where these protests are being condemned. Go get drunk and arrested at a hockey game, watch Rachel Madcow, Lawrence “Immigration is an added value yet I live in lily white Santa Monica” O’Donnell, drive your Camaro to your gram cracker box house (on which you pay half your salary on property taxes) and cross yourself every five seconds while thumbing your rosary because you just abused your family yet again and watch your jobs get outsourced to the South because your union thought it was worth six figures for you to be assemble a simple part that a trained monkey could accomplish.

  • kswee

    HEY the protestors are from NC too. don’t generalize.

  • SmellyGuido

    in the very South that you purport to hate so much. So much so that you have a Southern TV station in your news feeds. You’re too ignorant to realize that the backlash against these protests is pretty virulent nationwide – not just the South. The blue states are bleeding population, jobs and Congressional seats to the South. You losers failed and destroyed an entire swath of the nation. What jobs that China and India haven’t taken from you, the South swiped. And yes, I’ll insult a vet or anyone else I chose to insult. Just because someone once wore a uniform doesn’t make them beyond reproach. It’s a job for which they volunteered.

  • Hoover

    Reading the majority of comments here just shows how ignorant the majority of southern “USEFULL IDIOTS” there are here. The protest is about corruption, greed, hypocrisy, war’s and a useless goverment. But you ignorant simpleton’s turn on ffox news and rush “pills” limbaugh and listen to their corporate talking heads. Make your min wage, watch car’s go around in circle’s for hours, drive your pick-up truck to your trailer and praise god. The bank’s and corporations KNOW there is no trouble from you people.

  • Guest7969

    I was wrong. You guys are .00049342% of the 99% … DO THE MATH! Which means, you speak for nobody! As far as the harming nobody and no property…ever hear of the news???? Maybe you should watch it!!

  • Hopeful

    I think the fact that people are actually beginning to find some type of voice in smaller communities is wonderful. We may not all agree on the same issues but the fact that people are finally standing up for at least something instead of sitting at home whining about everything and are now actually trying to make a change whatever that may be. Is this not what our country is based upon. I am so sick of watching people sit around on smart phones and staring at their Ipads. I am just thankful that people are once again coming out and joining together for a greater cause, and possibly strengthening their community.

  • Ignorant much?

    this article went across my news feed…I am laughing at all the angry redneck comments…awe…bless your southern redneck hearts…lord knows all the good paying jobs are in the blue states…along with educated people. Glad you can insult a vet though…I can see him front and center…nice, God loving hypocrites you all are…so blindly full of hate while bending over while your corporate master finishes his business…I can’t decide if I should laugh at you are feel sorry that you…sad, pathetic little people in NC, huh?

  • ncted

    These people are being used by the radical progressive left to advance a socialist agenda.

    Be careful, even good intentions can be used to promote evil.

  • HAHAhahaHAHA

    With all due respect you must be completely mad! It is not “integrity” to keep paying a 40% underwater mortgage, it is a TERRIBLE business decision. It is a total joke on working folks that “integrity” has anything what-so-ever to due with your debts. Corporations and the rich default, go bankrupt, and walk away everyday. I used to play poker with rich guys every week, and they would laugh about going bankrupt 3 or 4 times, and they couldn’t wait to do it again (and from what here hear, have!!!). I feel bad for you if you are really so deluded as to believe such blatant propaganda!

  • Jenn

    “You aren’t a true businessman if you’ve never declared bankruptcy”

    Donald Trump

  • Jenn

    Let’s see. College educated mother of three very intelligent, healthy, non-obese children. Laid off by the 1% because they weren’t getting richer fast enough. Husband died. Now we are the HORRIBLE, TERRIBLE people who need to use food stamps, and Medicaid for the two youngest children, to get by. I pay the remainder of my bills-you don’t.

    There is no father here. I guess I’m just a no good whore freeloader huh? Since you think you know every situation…

    You should really stop the sanctimonious, holier than thou crap and realize that you or someone you care about, if they exist, could easily become part of this vilified 29%.

    And you’re mad about STEAK? A lean steak is one of the best sources of healthy, pure protein that can help fight against obesity when paired with other healthy foods. You should applaud a nice steak since you hate “fatties” so much.

    By the way… I am 5’5 and weigh 130. Do I pass the “fattie” test?

  • Guest20

    Brains are not everything. In fact, in your case, they are nothing.

    I’m glad to see you’re not letting your education get in the way of your ignorance…..DamnYankees (I always knew it was one word).

  • Guest7969

    what your saying is that your word isn’t your bond and that your promise to pay back a loan in WORTHLESS….By your logic..you should NEVER buy ANYTHING…the bank has NO WAY of knowing the housing industry values in the future..when you buy a home you buy it on TODAYS prices…GAMBLING that it will increase in value…that IS NOT the banks fault!…Integrity has EVERYTHING to do with paying your debt! Maybe you didn’t learn that…shame on your parents for not!

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