'Occupy Utica' Facebook Page seeing a lot of activity

By GARY LIBERATORE

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - More than 2,000 people have checked out a Utica-based Facebook page since it was opened just two weeks ago. The page, OccupyUtica, is dedicated to a protest planned in Utica on Thursday, October 13.

The protest is expected to be similar to those seen across the country since the 'Occupy Wall Street' protests began in New York City in September.

The OccupyUtica page says that the gathering planned for next Thursday at Liberty Bell Park in Downtown Utica will contain a broad, a-political coalition of people from many different backgrounds who are demanding reform in the financial and political sectors across the country.

Organizers say they don't know how many people will show up to the peaceful protest but it will feature a number of speakers who are united in stopping the steady erosion of the middle class. They say that erosion is due in part to the dramatic growth of banks, financial institutions, and other large corporations, as well as the government's massive bailout of these companies, at the expense of worthy programs and services that benefit working class Americans.

Lauren Eadline, one of the local organizers from Schuyler says that just like the events in other cities, there is really no particular immediate 'goal' in mind of the protest - it's more of a movement that is gaining steam, "which we haven't seen so bi-partisan, across all walks of life in a really long time," Eadline said.

"So if nothing else, it's unifying people together under one solid message in ways none of us expected," she continued "And it's all happening really quickly and very rapidly, and if nothing else, if there is no change in the way Wall Street works, the financial institutions, or even the legislation of this country, there is a sense of empowerment now that exists that did not exist before and that unifying factor is something that everybody can take things from."

The group has a pot-luck/poster-making event planned for this Sunday in preparation of the protest.

It is planned for Sunday at 6 p.m.at The Uptown Theatre in South Utica. Organizers are invited the public and ask those who attend to bring a dish to share.

The Occupy Utica protest is scheduled for next Thursday at 5 p.m. at the Liberty Bell Park in downtown Utica, at the corner of Genesee Street and Lafayette Street.

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