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Occupy activists take over Kalamazoo park for national gathering

The Occupy movement is taking over a downtown Kalamazoo park this week.

Activists old and young are in Kalamazoo from all across the country.   The Occupy activists are talking about a lot of different things from economic issues to racism.  And since this is an Occupy gathering, that means everyone will have a say on everything.

And Iwanka from Philadelphia says they're also inviting anyone else who wants to to take part.

“This is an open invitation to the entire public to come down and tackle some democracy issues,” says Iwanka.

The Occupy movement surged in popularity not long after hundreds of protesters took part in Occupy Wall Street in September of 2011. But the movement appeared to lose momentum as Occupy members struggled to focus on which issues they wanted to see action on.

Lisa Leggio is one of the local organizers. She says this week they will discuss important issues and ways to accomplish their goals.

“We can march around the streets until we’re blue in the face….if nothing’s changing...nothing’s changing,” says Leggio. 

Unlike other Occupy events, the activists say no one will be sleeping overnight in Kalamazoo’s Bronson Park.  City ordinances say that’s a no-no.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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