published Saturday, October 15th, 2011

Occupy Chattanooga unsure about protest


by Andrew Pantazi
Members of Occupy Chattanooga march across the Walnut Street Bridge chanting and holding signs to passing pedestrians and cyclists Saturday in Coolidge Park. Protesters gathered at the stage in the park to express their dissatisfaction with government and business while passersby in the park stopped to listen.
Members of Occupy Chattanooga march across the Walnut Street Bridge chanting and holding signs to passing pedestrians and cyclists Saturday in Coolidge Park. Protesters gathered at the stage in the park to express their dissatisfaction with government and business while passersby in the park stopped to listen.
Photo by Jenna Walker /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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  • photo
    Members of Occupy Chattanooga march across the Walnut Street Bridge chanting and holding signs to passing pedestrians and cyclists Saturday in Coolidge Park. Protesters gathered at the stage in the park to express their dissatisfaction with government and business while passersby in the park stopped to listen.
    Photo by Jenna Walker /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    Gayle Tyree claps her hands along to "This Land is Your Land" during the Occupy Chattanooga protest Saturday in Coolidge Park. After walking across the Walnut Street Bridge, protesters gathered at the stage in Coolidge Park where they lined their signs and expressed their dissatisfaction with government and business.
    Photo by Jenna Walker /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

With a list of increasing demands and a greater sense of urgency, about 200 people met with Occupy Chattanooga on Friday night at Miller Plaza, and by the end of the night, with about 50 people still there, they talked about whether the group should occupy the city.

Already, a separate group of people had received permits to meet at Coolidge Park today, at least until sunset. The event was organized on Facebook as Occupy Globally (Chattanooga), in contrast to the Occupy Chattanooga group.

The people meeting at Miller Plaza tried to determine when, where and if Occupy Chattanooga should protest.

So far, the group has had two general assembly meetings, where people tried to come to a consensus on a list of demands and on the organization of the group.

“I propose that if we’re not going to occupy anything, we change our name,” Judith Cooper told the group.

Sela Randazzo said she wanted to rally at Miller Plaza while feeding the homeless later tonight, even if the group can’t receive a permit to protest.

Asking for permission to protest, she said, is nonsensical.

Joda Thongnopnua, who has rallied with the activist group Chattanooga Organized for Action, said that in the city, he has not had any problems with police during rallies. But still, he said, he didn’t think Occupy Chattanooga needed to rally anywhere, at least not yet.

“I don’t think occupying Miller Plaza is the more strategic place, except for solidarity,” Thongnopnua said. “Occupations in big cities like New York make sense. Here, 40 people would get arrested.”

Angelia Stinnett, one of the organizers of the Occupy Globally Chattanooga event in Coolidge Park today, said that the group had a permit to stay in the park until sunset. After that, she said she’s going home.

“I’m not getting arrested,” she said.

If people choose to stay longer, the event page reads, it’s their own decision.

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about Andrew Pantazi...

Andrew Pantazi is an intern at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who says that when he was 7 he knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life: play hockey for the Colorado Avalanche. Unfortunately, he says he wasn't any good at hockey, so he became a journalist instead. He writes about the lives we hide, like the man who suffered a stroke but smiled, or the football walk-on who endured 5 ...

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ScoopAway said...

“I don’t think occupying Miller Plaza is the more strategic place, except for solidarity,” Thongnopnua said. “Occupations in big cities like New York make sense. Here, 40 people would get arrested.” No but you got that name in the paper!! These 5 minute gigs seem to keep the news going. Was it complete embarrassment or did two silly hippie groups bump heads over the 5 minute of fame for the media. Here's something for these so called "non-profit" groups to think about. just remember when push comes to shove and you have to explain your mysterious high dollar spending on hate signs and printed material from groups that will ensure they have the correct donations listed on their paper work don't get mad when you miserably fail and the money runs out and the table is turned!

October 15, 2011 at 12:56 a.m.
Newton said...

They need to occupy Moccasin Bend.

October 15, 2011 at 2:19 a.m.
Momus said...

Occupy Hamilton Place!

October 15, 2011 at 2:57 a.m.
jimfromthebay said...

Anything you'd like to contribute besides sarcasm ? You should be grateful that some people are concerned enough about the loss of their government to corporate control to get off their lazy-boys and involve themselves as part of a national voice .

October 15, 2011 at 6:02 a.m.
fedup350 said...

This "protest" is a joke. Just what is their list of demands? Let me guess, legalize LSD a marijuana? I bet there is not a full time job holder in the whole group let alone a taxpayer. I have a list of demands for them. Take a bath and comb your hair. Quit getting high and most important, get a job.

October 15, 2011 at 8:40 a.m.
keithandmissy said...

Why don't these folks redirect their anger at the actual problem? Use the system of our republic to remove the politicians that created the environment of corporate loopholes, etc. That's the problem - redirect your anger at Congress and the White House... not Chattanooga or some park in New York City. Oh yeah, and try voting. It works. It's just to create a spectacle and does nothing good for the country otherwise.

October 15, 2011 at 9:09 a.m.
dompenn2010 said...

I'd like to throw out three things.

First, the title.

"Occupy Chattanooga unsure about protest" This language is simply incorrect. Protesting and occupying are not synonymous. There were multiple proposals that passed regarding protests.

Secondly "Already, a separate group of people had received permits to meet at Coolidge Park today, at least until sunset. The event was organized on Facebook as Occupy Globally (Chattanooga), in contrast to the Occupy Chattanooga group."

If you were listening at last nights general assembly you would've heard the distinction being made between an event and a group. Occupy Globally (Chattanooga) is an event. So there is no contrast to the "Occupy Chattanooga group" This illegitimate comparison attempts to show some sort of faction split in the group, which does not exist.

Third "This "protest" is a joke. Just what is their list of demands? Let me guess, legalize LSD a marijuana? I bet there is not a full time job holder in the whole group let alone a taxpayer. I have a list of demands for them. Take a bath and comb your hair. Quit getting high and most important, get a job."

This is a working class movement... so you've already messed up. The MAJORITY of people I've spoken to at Occupy Chattanooga events have jobs; a large percentage of them have full time jobs, and even more of them pay taxes. So your hippy argument doesn't work.

October 15, 2011 at 9:23 a.m.
bschuhma said...

@fedup350: I was at the first GA Meeting on 10/7/11. I have a VERY good job as a Software Architect for a well known company. I pay my taxes and I'd pay more if EVERYONE who makes more than I do participates (i.e. me alone sending in a few thousand extra doesn't solve the problem) . I vote in EVERY election. I'm bald, so you wouldn't associate me with a "hippie" movement. I don't do drugs and I've even taken a shower recently. So... what was your argument again?

The problem is that the system is corrupted by money. Money buys elections, which then perpetuates the problem, because the elected officials try to keep their power by changing the rules to benefit them. We're not seeking to redistribute the wealth, only make it FAIR so people's voices are heard and elected officials do the right thing BECAUSE IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO, not because they will benefit from it. The way things are, elected officials are afraid of the Koch brothers and their money, the Dick Armies and their money, and the Grover Norquist's and his group's money. If a politician does the "right thing", which also happens to go against the Koch brother's agenda, they get primaried out of existence!

Long story short - get the money out of politics and we can begin fixing all our problems.

I AM A PROUD 99%er!

Bret

October 15, 2011 at 10:04 a.m.
maryjanicep said...

Me too, Bret.

October 15, 2011 at 10:48 p.m.
dompenn2010 said...

That being said, I don't mean to attack you as the author, Andrew. It wasn't suppose to go across that way. I understand it is a strange thing to report on, and the language you're having to use to explain to the general public may be confusing.

Kudos for trying bro!

October 16, 2011 at 9:18 a.m.
fedup350 said...

@bschuhma. It is really hard to take serious

Blockquote

ly anyone who would volunteer to pay more taxes to the corrupt and incompetent democrats who are currently ruining this country. I have a sneaky suspicion that the "occupy" crowd is comprised of liberals, socialists, anarchist and communists. They are against corporate money in politics but very carefully avoid any criticism of obama or the democrats who are in bed with the banks and corporation even more tha the republicans which is saying a lot. You claim to be 99% but that is a total falsehood.

October 16, 2011 at 9:54 a.m.
fedup350 said...

The "occupy" group are nothing but a gathering of hypocrites who are underhandedly pushing their own political agenda and they cannot be trusted. They are not sincere or they would be critisizing those currently in power namely obama and the democrats

October 16, 2011 at 10:12 a.m.
dompenn2010 said...

@fedup350

You are completely wrong if you think there is no criticism towards the current administration from this movement. I would do some research before you show your ignorance.

...and of COURSE we're pushing our political agenda's... what kind of insult is that? You make it sound like it's some sinister plot.

This is NOT a "democrat" movement, and we are NOT pushing democrat politics.

October 17, 2011 at 9:18 a.m.
fedup350 said...

@dompenn2010 , You are simply lying. This group is pushing the liberal/socialist agenda. Watch all the news coverage, both liberal and Fox. There is no criticism of obama or the democrats. You are pushing a total lie saying that there is. As a matter of fact obama is trying to use this movement for his own use even though he and his cronies have worsened the economic crisis with their liberal agenda. You are pushing it without saying it. Be honest, you are a liberal/socialist, just be honest and admit that is what you are pushing, say it or shut up!

October 17, 2011 at 11:43 a.m.
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