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Originally published October 1, 2011 at 1:26 PM | Page modified October 2, 2011 at 9:12 AM

Occupy Seattle protests corporate America

The 50 or so individuals who turned out for an Occupy Seattle protest against corporate control of government had different motivations but agreed that taking to the streets was necessary to change the country.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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For Libby Smith, 65, it was the frustration that her political involvement didn't seem to influence anyone.

For Andrew Tuttle, 23, it was the homeless family living in the bus stop near his Wallingford house.

Garth Donald, 27, was inspired by protests in the Middle East where young people sparked revolutions through protest.

Those who turned out for an Occupy Seattle protest against corporate control of government had different motivations but agreed that taking to the streets was necessary to change the country.

The local protest at Westlake Park Saturday morning was one of dozens echoing across the country in response to weeks-long protests in New York City by a youth movement called Occupy Wall Street.

Like those in New York, Seattle protesters were largely young. A few wore dollar bills taped across their mouths.

Those who organized the protest — they reported more than 100 participated in the event — said it drew all kinds of people who want more control over their own government.

"It's amazing the diversity and the singular voice that we have," said Albert Postema, of Snohomish.

He and his daughter traveled to New York to participate in protests there, and he helped bring the cause back to Seattle.

On Saturday, he wore a noose around his neck, taping and un-taping a dollar bill across his face as needed so he could arrange the protesters into a circle.

"Banks got bailed out, you got sold out!" they chanted.

Jon Ramer, 53, said he wanted to show protesters on Wall Street that they aren't alone.

"A lot of people feel as if we've lost a legitimate way to govern ourselves," he said.

Older people in the group said they wanted to show that it was more than just a young person's movement.

Smith has been politically involved for years, she said, but the last time she joined a protest was during the Vietnam War.

"I just feel powerless," she said. "I vote. I'm active. But nothing seems to be changing."

Emily Heffter: 206-464-8246 or eheffter@seattletimes.com

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