The Occupy movement, which developed from the Occupy Wall Street effort in New York City, drew nearly a thousand protesters to Indianapolis this past weekend and garnered attention from all across the state.
Occupy’s organizers consider the weekend’s events a success. Besides helping boost public awareness, they say the gathering provided the different activist communities that make up the Occupy movement an opportunity to begin planning their next moves.
Ball State student and one of the key organizers of Muncie’s Occupy group Kai Bennett says protestors who will remain outside the Statehouse all week are an essential part of growing the effort.
“I think being in that central location there, right in front of the city, especially during the week, will bring a lot more attention and bring numbers slowly,” he says.
A large portion of the Occupy message is focused on what organizers call the “corporate takeover” of American society, with the top one percent of earners controlling, in their view, too much power.
Stefan Ludlow, a Butler University student protesting at the Statehouse, says he hopes the Occupy movement grows the way the Tea Party has.
“For most of us who don’t believe in the Tea Party’s values, we don’t have a movement,” he says. “So hopefully this sparks something like that for the disenfranchised.”
There are Occupy events and groups being organized this week in South Bend, Fort Wayne, Muncie and Bloomington.