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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — As Occupy Wall Street nears its second month of protests in New York City, members of Occupy Wilmington have pitched their tents downtown, right between City Hall and the Historic Courthouse.

Dozens of local occupiers marched from the Federal Courthouse on Water Street to their encampment next to City Hall Saturday afternoon.

Police eventually told them to leave because the group did not have a permit to camp out in the park.

“Encampment is a freedom of expression,” Occupy Wilmington Member Angela Johnson said. “I think anything the group can do to get movement and to get involved in the community is something I’m in support of. I see other things like community actions we’re taking like volunteer work to be just as important as encampment. I think for us, this is a way of getting in front of the community and connecting and letting everybody know they are part of the 99 percent. They are not alone in this.”

“It depends on how long it takes. You’ve got to wake up citizens,” Occupy Wilmington member Joe Santos said when asked how long the group planned to camp out. “You’ve got to wake up the politicians, both locally, on state level, and on the national level. So, as long as it takes.”

“One of those things that our tax dollars pay for it,” said Maria Diaz, who had slept at the site Saturday night. “We should be able to use it and we’re just trying to do it the right way.”

“They came up and politely asked to leave and we politely decided to comply,” said Denny Best, an Occupy Wilmington participant.

Right now the group has a permit to stay on the sidewalk in front of City Hall for a month, but they say they plan to stay there as long as it takes to see a change.

“A change in the world,” said Diaz. “Until someone sees that the 99 percent of us that are here that are getting stepped on by the top one percent, until something happens to help us.”

Besides opposing big corporations, the group is standing up for several issues including better benefits for veterans and active duty service members, and promoting clean industries and small businesses in Wilmington.

“My husband and I both own small businesses and the big corporations get major funding and major tax credits and the small business community is just left to flounder,” said Lynn Harris, a participant in Occupy Wilmington.

About five stayed over night and the group will take shifts every few hours at their site.

“We’re kind of skirted under the rug a bit, we’re a bit invisible,” said Diaz. “But, just because you turn your head doesn’t mean we’re not here because when you look back we’ll still be here and we’ll still be fighting for what’s right.”

Several downtown businesses have been giving away food and discounts to the group in support of their movement.


Comment on this Story

  • Guest99x

    Common, you are not of capacity to tell anyone to “shut up”.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    There’s already a box on Form 1040 to allow you to pay extra tax to reduce the debt. None of them thought of using that, did they?

    BTW, allowing the “Bush tax cuts” to expire will raise taxes on the poorest American taxpayers by 5%. Ready for that, too?

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    Point one out, please. Put up or shut up.

  • Mumofthree

    Yesterday 24 of the top 1% went to Capital Hill and asked Congress to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire. You can Google it and read the details if you haven’t already. If they listen, and let them expire it would be a start on helping to fix our problems. Then they could cut off the Wall Street Lobbyists & kick Norquist out of the country. He doesn’t believe in the Constitution let him find another country. Our government bailed out the banks and they still want more money. They need to be restructured and regulated. Most of the greedy gobble-ups at the top, including the ones who have wormed their way into Capitol Hill, need to be shown the door. That will be the only way to really get us back on the path to a stronger America.

    To the 24 who went to Capitol Hill yesterday & the Occupy people you make me proud to be an American!!

  • Mumofthree

    I am perfectly aware of the role Barney Frank & Chris Dodd played in this mess. But didn’t feel the readers wanted a boring history lesson. You shouldn’t assume how educated the rest of us are, Robert Green.

  • Guest238

    How do you know that they are “breeding”? Maybe there are no jobs in some circumstances. I don’t know what world you grew up in, but, in the real world all people don’t have the same opportunities.
    Where I grew up kids were kept out of school sometimes to help on the farm. Some left school at 16 because they were going to be farmers and the family needed them to work.
    Where I grew up there were people that were “slow” and they were trainable but they were never going to make a livable wage. I grew up where not everyone had the opportunity to go to college like I did and went from high school to work.
    They say unemployment is under 10% but we know it is actually much higher. How much are the unemployed paying in taxes when they have no income.
    Maybe some of these gullible people on here will go with the lies and platitudes you enjoy spouting on the web. Don’t count me as one of them.

  • WilliamSmith

    I agree with Common. “Poor people” should pay something to help their country out. But if they can’t or won’t pay any taxes then they need to at least do away with the Earned Income Credit. This gives the peolple who qualify for EIC $1500 for every child in their household. I have seen checks in the amount of $6000 to $8000 to families who pay $0 in income tax. Is that fair? Plus they are on other government entitlement programs. Section 8, EBT, WIC, Medicaid. You dumba** need to wake up!! These kind of programs keep them from trying to do better. I mean why should they? They’re living good on MY MONEY!!!
    And how much of their EIC goes to the dope man? I bet he gets more of it than the kids ever see.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    This is THEIR country too. I don’t care how “poor” someone is, we ALL have an obligation to support this country. If they’d stop breeding, they might not be so poor.

  • Guest238

    C’mon and tell the people the truth. Some of that 49% are so poor they don’t have to pay income tax.

  • Guest7969

    Do I start…have you even been paying attention…the USPS is LOOSING money and cannot sustain itself…it cost the taxpayers LOTS of dimes!! Yup you an uneducated FLEA bagger!

  • Robert Green

    In regards to Freddie and Fannie for getting over-compensated CEO’s.Educate yourself before posting.It shows your ignorance.

  • guesty

    The USPS pays for itself? Really? You might want to check out this article.


  • Mumofthree

    One way to help our local economy this Holiday Season is when posible to buy from local retailers. Think of a gift card for a favorite restaurant, hair salon, coffee shop, etc.

    Getting back to one of our Wall Street problems I’d like to make sure that the “too big to fail” problem isn’t looming again. We have fewer Big Banks now and am afraid we will be at their mercy. Still they are losing millions. Did you hear that 2 top CEO’s at Fannie & Freddy who each have 900,000.00 a year salaries also each got a 2 million dollar bonus this year!! And they are still wanting money from the government…us!

    BTW: Why is Congress trying to take away our United States Postal Service? It does not cost tax payers a dime. It pays for itself and is a service that has worked for America. Why take it away and put fellow Americans out of jobs? We need to write or e-mail our representative in congress and tell them to leave the USPS alone.

    Something tells me if they do away with it lots of Americans will lose jobs but some big business will take over & make lots of money.
    There has to be profit for someone or they wouldn’t waste their time.
    Don’t let this happen!!

  • Guest2011

    Who are you really affecting? The wealthy or the average American? Let’s see….you block public sidewalks with your chairs, signs, protesters, and tables, and you trash public parks with your garbage. I would say the answer is you are affecting the average American. Seriously if you want to see change then make change but stop being an inconvience and bother to the average American. If you do not like the big banks and corporations then simply take your business elsewhere. That is always the best way to show your discontent and to attempt to bring about change. Downtown is bad enough with all of the construction tearing the streets up with out protesters adding to the hazards and poor quality of our beautiful downtown.

  • Grand Ole Party

    You could not argue with a single point made in the post!!! Rhetoric? Or fact? Please tell me what part of the post you find incorrect genius.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    The wealthy already pay “their fair share” plus a whole lot more.

    How about the 49% of people who DON’T pay income tax chipping in to support their own country?

  • WilliamSmith

    If you want equality you need to ask the ones getting EIC to quit taking my tax dollars. These parasites aren’t paying income tax but are getting thousands every year for breeding more parasites. So include these when talking “fair”.

  • anne

    Well said!!!!!!!!!!

  • Guestwhat

    What you’re suggesting is not a solution. Protestors don’t hate the wealthy or want to take there money away. They only want them to pay their fair share. There has always been a place for public protest in America, and it has created change many many times.

  • GuestHUH?

    How is it all of you “occupy” people think that gathering in front of public buildings is going to bring about change? The only thing you all are doing is causing already cash strapped cities money to have to provide police protection and clean up after you when you leave your mess. If you are angry at the “rich people” then take it out on the rich people where it hurts them, in their pocketbook. Don’t like your bank charging higher fees for debit cards, change banks, or better yet, stop using your debit card. Don’t like big corporations not paying their fair share of taxes, stop shopping at the walmarts, exxons, apples, etc. It’s called a boycott. I personally think it’s disgusting that ball players, movie stars and entertainers make millions and millions of dollars, and us regular people are forced to spend an entire paycheck to go and see a movie or a game. Well I don’t, I refuse to pay that amount to make rich people richer, I choose to boycott sporting events and movie theaters. Seems to me if everybody stopped paying for these “luxery” items for a couple of months, the richy rich entertainers might realize that they are part of the problem. Then again, if you are stupid enough to pay $15 to see a movie,$100 to see a football game, $20 to buy a CD/DVD, you are probably one of the ones that bought a house that you knew you couldn’t afford to pay for, and are now whining because your house is being taken away from you by the bank..

  • Mumofthree

    I support the occupy movement and agree they have every right to protest peacefully. Americans need to wake up and realize the only way we can pull ourselves out of this downward spiral is to vote. Yes, vote our way out. We have people in congress who refuse to raise taxes on millionares, billionares, and big corporations. They have signed a contract with a lobbyist by the name of Grover Norquist promising not to raise taxes on these people. Thats how crooked they are. Google it…it’s true. But they will cut programs that help the elderly, disabled, veterans, and poor. And they will raise taxes on the middle class.

    In the late 90’s Newt pushed a bill through congress giving the wealthy huge tax cuts on income earned from investments and other loopholes. As a result, on average, their income has increased by 275% over the last decade. Has yours??

    If they close those loopholes, as President Obama has tried to do several times but has been blocked by Congress, the revenue from that alone would bring in more than what comes in from income tax annually.

    We need to pay attention to what goes on in Congress, how they are voting. If they aren’t working for all Americans…they don’t serve another term. Vote someone else in who will. We are 99%!!

    And it does make me sick to have people whine about taxing the top 1%. Why shouldn’t they pay their taxes like everyone else? Why don’t we have lobbyists working for us getting huge tax breaks for the middle class?? Unless you are in the top 1% it does make you look foolish to waste your time defending all the breaks they get.

  • Occupythis

    Occupy the polls where the same type of people that make the laws are being voted in every election.

    Occupy the Federal Reserve that is accountable to no one.

    Occupy The White House and Govenors Mansion.

  • Guest112212121

    Are they allowed to creat such obstructions/hazzards on the sidewalk? Are they violating any ADA standards? just some thoughts.

  • Guest3130

    . . . have an original thought in your head, or it would die of abject loneliness. Same ol’ GOP rhetoric.

    My hat’s off to you, Trev & Mama Bear and the other 99%’ers – – your opposers here ARE the 1%, don’t let ’em fool you for a minute.

  • Robert Green

    To the ongoing momentum of the New American Socialist Movement taking hold of a large segment of misguided people, who are angry with how they perceive Corporate America.You folks have assembled in front of the wrong place.Go to Raleigh and assemble in front of Bev Perdue’s office.She is the last remnant of a Democratic Party that controlled state government for over 100 years and ran the state aground financially with extreme government excesses.Go to D.C and pay homage to the Father of the New American Socialist Movement, whose government excesses have eclipsed all the other American Presidents combined.Corporate America has restrained their investment in America due to the continued unknowns and mandates from an oppressive regime that is not friendly to business.Given the track record of the Occupiers nationwide,you can expect property damage and unlawful behavior.Many downtown Wilmington business’ will probably endorse this movement due to the liberal nature of the downtown culture.A majority of the Occupiers are representative of the far-left,secular ideology that is destroying the country.I am not in the top 1% and neither am I apart of your delusional 99%.There will be no gray area between the two polarizing ideologies(conservative vs.liberal)come election time.

  • Guest7969

    “Until someone sees that the 99 percent of us that are here that are getting stepped on by the top one percent, until something happens to help us”

    LOL…are you SURE the 99% were THERE…I’m thinking a MINISCULE portion of the 99%, amounting to ZERO, was there…

    One, STOP MISREPRESENTING ME, you do NOT represent me…

    Until you can figure out WHY corporations pay ZERO in payroll, taxes, etc…we don’t have anything to talk about! When you say, more importantly when Obuma says, that the corporations aren’t paying their fair share…what you and he are REALLY saying is that the working American isn’t paying enough…

  • Guest112212121

    I think you should worry less about the taxes and concentrate more on a higher education for yourself. Your spelling and grammar are awful.

  • hugh

    I went down town last night or this morning at 4;30
    and when i showed up there , the people who were there were nice people , they all had concerns on whats going on!! not just in wall=st but here in our state ? like one guy was talking about our gas tax, we pay the highest tax in the south ,, at 58 % on a dollar , and that we have a port here in wilmington that the gas come in , and gets shiped out all over the south and in our state ,but yet its cheaper in ‘raleigh’ then in wilmington , then there a guy who was talking about money going out of the country every week to mexico ,,this is what came up ! if they can tax us on gas, that much why cant they tax money going out of the counrty to mexico , i did add this ,, it would help us out, on taxing that money and that could help out the roads and schools , when you hear its time to wake up ,thats someof what theretrying to tell you wake up,,, look i have gone down there and talk to some !!! there not stupit , or dum ..they hold a degree ,some own businesses, and they work hard , and go to school, to be come something , but here are a few things thay all have in common ,, they pay there tax, and there standing up for there rights ,,and people who sit back and crip and get mad at them for what there trying to stand for are hyprocites

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