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Occupy Gainesville holds electrifying first assembly, prepares for action

By Fernando Figueroa |
October 10, 2011
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SDS Organizer Diana Moreno at Occupy Gainesville Assembly
SDS Organizer Diana Moreno gives form and shape to the demands of those who support Occupy Wall Street. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Gainesville, FL - The ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests finally reached here on Oct. 5. Working people and students from across Gainesville converged on the downtown farmers market to hold the first Occupy Gainesville assembly.

With a crowd of more than 120, participants stood up and gave speeches about the demands that Occupy Gainesville ought to raise. Overwhelmingly, the assembly agreed to place an emphasis on local issues, particularly the demand for good-paying jobs.

During a speech, Jeremiah Tattersall, a statewide organizer with Fight Back Florida, reminded the assembly of “the importance in making labor and jobs the central focus of this movement.” His suggestion to demand that the City Commission adopt a local hiring preference, which would create jobs for Gainesville workers through city projects, was met with widespread applause.

After a half hour meeting, the entire assembly marched to City Hall and continued to make speeches denouncing corporate greed at the city, state and national level. Dave Schneider, an activist in Students for a Democratic Society, said, “The 1% of corporate America may center itself at Wall Street, but it’s also here in Gainesville, represented by the City Commission and the big commercial developers who put them in power. Enough is enough!”

As the first meeting came to end, participants signed up for committees focusing on direct action plans and internet outreach.

The Occupy Gainesville participants agreed to make the downtown Bo Diddley Plaza the central hub for the movement and announced that occupations would begin on Oct. 12.

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