Advertising

Originally published Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Cold reduces number of Occupy Spokane protesters

Spokane's version of the Occupy Wall Street protest has dwindled to only a handful of demonstrators, just a few weeks after a march through downtown drew some 300 people.

Associated Press

quotes Occupy X just does not get it. The Tea Baggers created political clout by instilling... Read more

advertising

SPOKANE, Wash. —

Spokane's version of the Occupy Wall Street protest has dwindled to only a handful of demonstrators, just a few weeks after a march through downtown drew some 300 people.

While the protests have drawn big crowds and led to mass arrests in some cities, no more than a dozen activists at a time have occupied a small downtown traffic island in Spokane since early October. The group's numbers shrank to just one or two people during early morning hours this week as colder weather moved into the area.

Also present on the traffic island - a large statue of Spanish-American war hero John R. Monaghan, which protesters have been using to prop up their signs.

More significantly, Occupy Spokane is set up on city land in front of the posh Spokane Club, which for decades has been a gathering place for the city's movers and shakers. The proximity to the red-brick club was intentional, said Cole Cummings, 40, who has shown up regularly for the past month to hold a sign on the corner of Monroe and Riverside.

"This is where the wealthy come to work out in the mornings," Cummings said last week, his breath visible in the cold air.

Terry Hill, 57, a retired Spokane Transit Authority bus driver, said his major reason for participating in Occupy Spokane was to highlight the nation's economic disparity. The middle class has had stagnating incomes for three decades while the rich have gotten richer, he said.

"Everything flows in their direction," Hill said of the rich. "There is just something wrong here."

There have been no problems with police, although Occupy Spokane did have to secure a permit to run a modest kitchen and was required to provide a portable restroom. And there have been no conflicts with members of the Spokane Club - in fact, someone from the club comes out every morning to give coffee to the protesters, Cummings said.

Hill said he was prepared to wave signs for months.

"I'll be out here as long as it takes," he said.

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon




Advertising