The protest movement which began in New York with Occupy Wall Street and has since spread out to most of the nation’s large cities is now trickling down into tiny rural towns like Mosier, Oregon.
As described by occupywallst.org, “There are no stoplights, the only gas station closed years ago and there is not a single multinational corporation within five miles. With a population of just 430, Mosier, Oregon will become the smallest U.S. town to have an active Occupy camp. Participants from Mosier and other small communities of the Columbia Gorge are working to highlight their vision for a family-friendly camp that includes music, movies and round-table discussions with the community.”
Some of the group’s issues, like moving money out of the big banks, are the same as those of the national movement, while others, like protesting against plans to ship coal to China by way of the Columbia Gorge, have a more local appeal.
“Rural communities have been hit harder than anyone by the policies the Occupy movement has formed to fight,” Mosier resident Corie Lahr insisted. “If we do this right, we can attract a lot of rural people to the movement.”
“Our goal is to be able to reach out to people, frankly, who don’t agree with us,” protester Brent Foster told KATU-TV. “We have people say, ‘What the heck are you here for?’ and after ten minutes of talking we realize we’ve got way more to agree about than we disagree.”
The group expects to set up 15 or more tents and attract hundreds of visitors over the next week. They have even invited local Tea Party activists over “to share tea and round-table discussion about areas where the Tea Party and Occupy movements can agree.”
This video is from KATU-TV and was posted at YouTube by Occupy the Gorge on November 5, 2011.