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The Anti-Wall Street Occupation Comes to SLC

by Eric S. Peterson
- Posted // 2011-10-05 -

The protest that has pitted populist outrage against the excesses of Wall Street is now branching out to 80 cities across the country. Thursday, local activists in Salt Lake City will march from the Capitol and occupy Pioneer Park until their demands are met.

For more than three weeks, activists on the East Coast have staged protests, rallies and marches in the heart of New York City’s financial district as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Those activists have pledged to not end their occupation until real Wall Street reforms are enacted. Now the occupation is coming to Salt Lake City, and Occupy SLC organizer Alexandra Fabela says local activists will do the same, occupying Pioneer Park in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement along with other peaceful “occupations” planned in 80 other U.S. cities, as well as protests all across the globe demanding recognition that Wall Street greed needs to be reined in.

While conservative voices like Glenn Beck have labeled the Wall Street protesters as socialists and anarchists, Fabela says that the movement is about the majority of Americans who continue to suffer from the fallout of the 2008 economic meltdown.

“The majority of the people are struggling,” Fabela says. “But are willing to do something to change that.”

The group has stayed close to the objectives and demands laid out by the Occupy Wall Street group, such as demanding that a serious investigation be made into the 2008 economic meltdown, that the Securities and Exchange Commission be re-organized with dedicated staff with the funding and support to challenge the bad actors on Wall Street, among other demands. (For more reforms called for by the group, visit the Occupy Wall Street demands page here.)

The occupation in Salt Lake City will begin with a march from the state capitol to Pioneer Park, where, Fabela says, protesters will stage their peaceful occupation. Protesters, she says, “will stay for as long as necessary until they are recognized and until our needs and demands are addressed. Basically as long as it takes.”

That occupation could involve a showdown with the police, who point out that there are strict curfew laws in effect at city parks.

“Pioneer Park is supposed to be shut down by 10 p.m.,” says Salt Lake City Police Detective Dennis McGowan, “and that applies to everyone because of issues ongoing in all city parks.”

Organizers for Occupy SLC, however, are preparing for the long haul. Fabela says speakers are being lined up to speak to the gathering, and they plan on holding workshops and teach ins. Organizers even plan on having a yoga teacher give free lessons in the park and ask only that participants donate food for the protesters in exchange for the lessons.

Fabela, hopes that the groundswell of support the local event has seen on Face Book -- where she says the Occupy SLC page gained 6,000 followers in one week alone -- will translate into a real movement. It’s a movement she hopes will involve small- business owners, foreclosed families, students buried in student-loan debt and everyone else who comprises the majority of Utahns and Americans whose voice in politics has been silenced by corporate interests and sold-out politicians.

As for whether or not the movement will grow and pick up momentum, Fabela, is cautiously optimistic. “As far as [the question] of… ‘is it going to last?’ That’s a hard question to answer,” Fabela says. “Personally, I believe it is. It seems almost too big to fail.”

 Interested participants should plan on meeting at the Utah State Capitol, 350 N. State, at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6, the rally will organize and then begin marching at 11 a.m. to Pioneer Park, 350 S. 300 West for the occupation. For more information visit

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Posted // October 5,2011 at 15:12 Instead of criticizing, come down and get involved. If you understand the economic meltdown hows, whys and whats need to be done, then write your message down and educate others. Be a part of this. It's easy to criticize us who are showing up in person to do something about the problems, and harder to show up every day and be a part of the change.


Posted // October 6,2011 at 10:36 - Geez, Bill. What happened to the days you and I could just lay it down and get it out without worrying that we might offend the prudish type? Man oh man but I never expected to be censored here. It really sucks to work on a reply, or whatever, and then have it evaporated like that. I've been reading the SF Weekly lately and they have T&A AND cuss words over there.

I'm no musician and I'm currently having the only tattoo I ever got removed, so I guess I don't qualify to utilize the cuss exception clause.


Posted // October 6,2011 at 10:07 - Duke, unless you're a local musician or tattoo artist being interviewed, you can't use that kind of language. Offends the corporate advertisers.


Posted // October 5,2011 at 19:03 - I agree w/ you re: cussing. I don't agree with censorship. I agree about Libya and the unmanned drones. Obama should be impeached over the high crime of getting us involved with an unconstitutional war. (no congressional approval)


Posted // October 5,2011 at 16:19 - I wrote a really great reply for you (at least I thought it was great), but I cussed, and my post was exploded, evaporated, made part of the ether. One cuss word and my ideas are gone. PC BS!

When did we get all PC around here? If you can't even stand to see a cuss word, how can you stand to look at the world honestly?

Guts are being spilled in the streets, right now. But because Obama is in charge, war is no longer an issue. Even Obama's Libyan fiasco is okay. Children starve to death, every minute, flies crawling in and out of their shrunken bodies, while the American farmer tosses thousands of tons of food in the garbage to artificially inflate food prices. Curable disease spreads unchecked while the drugs intended to treat them rot on the shelves or are tossed. Bombs are dropped anonymously by unmanned drones, blowing up whomever happens to be unlucky enough to be near the blast zone; we don't even have the guts to look at what we're blowing up anymore. Unnecessary destruction, death and sickness is everywhere.

But while people easily tolerate these horrors, they will not tolerate the occasional f-bomb? Among a zillion other reasons, this is why I have no hope for the human race.

Anyway, have fun at your protest. I will not be there. Had my post not been destroyed, you would know exactly why.


Posted // October 5,2011 at 09:40 Leave it to Utah to protest within the rules ... occupying pioneer park effects no ones day to day .. well maybe the meth trade but other than that yeah no one .. is there not a more pivotal public area that SLC protestors could fight for their cause? just wondering


Posted // October 5,2011 at 12:28 - Hate to agree on this one, but yeah, every slightly mentally disturbed "free spirit" on a rehabbed Schwinn will show up and the whole thing will ressemble Felini-like circus scenes and the conservatives in our community will snicker and make whisper jokes to each other about how silly it all is and it will evaporate the minute the liberal Klown Kars and bikes leave Pioneer Park.

They need to vote and stop screwing around wasting time. I hope at least Dabakis is there recruiting Dem voters.

And since we kind of "know" City Weekly's general political stance, wouldn't it be nice if CW used it's voice at the community podium to help organize and push for a change in our political landscape. The Hatch Family created Channel 2 and KALL radio and many other media outlets because they wanted a "balance" against a philosophical monopoly here in Utah. And it worked. Their old tv station is #1 now. CW could help elect more Dems and end the Repub death grip on politics here once and for all.


Posted // October 5,2011 at 12:00 - Wait until you see the people that attend this circus. They'll bring their drums and costumes and bugles and dogs; they'll dance around and sing lame songs and juggle stuff and have fun; they'll snack on free food and listen to speakers ramble on about how things suck and they'll hand out little pamphlets. And if you ask any one of them, besides possibly the organizers, "Why are you here? What are your specific concerns? What are your demands for Wall Street?" You'll get a blank stare for an answer.


Posted // October 5,2011 at 09:59 - I was just going to ask what they intend to accomplish by sitting around with the bums and dealers all day.