Occupy Fort Lauderdale Protesters Defy Rain as Hundreds Turn Out to Express Grievances

Categories: Activism

occupy-ftl-flag.jpg
Photo by Ian Witlen
An Occupy Fort Lauderdale protester at last night's meeting.
​Amid the unfavorable weather that hovered over Fort Lauderdale last night, a couple of hundred people still gathered near the Broward Main Public Library to express their distaste, distrust, and disdain for the state of the country.

There's a common misconception that the Occupy movement is a reincarnation of the hippie collectives of yore, but that's not a label that could be placed on the folks at the inaugural meeting of Occupy Fort Lauderdale.

A "type" of the meeting's attendees would be impossible to describe -- there were father/son and grandmother/granddaughter combinations, high school students already concerned about what the future holds for them, older people disheartened by the state of Social Security, doctors, engineers, former Wall Street and financial workers, and even a congressional candidate.

Occupy Fort Lauderdale isn't yet in full-on demonstration mode, as organizers have said the first few meetings will help gather the momentum to continue the movement and eventually shift into protesting.

The meeting started with general statements and explaining the concept of a "consensus meeting," as well as a reading of the "Declaration of Occupation" -- the text of which can be found here.

"We're not here because of a political leaning," said Evan Rowe, one of the event's organizers. "We're here because a rotten political system is affecting us in several ways."

After that, the floor was opened to anyone who wanted the opportunity to speak and air out their ideas, as the masses moved a block east of the library to keep everyone dry underneath a concrete overhang.

The first person to step up was a man named Andrew Kirschner, who, among other things, announced he's entering the race as an independent candidate for the congressional seat held by Rep. Allen West.

"The party is over," Kirschner said. "We're taking our government back."

Kirschner announced the laundry list of problems he has with the current political state in the country, emphasizing corporate influence in politics and how he refuses to accept a single dollar from any corporation to fund his campaign.

Dozens of people followed Kirschner to address the group, each with a different focus on why they're mad as hell.

The concerns were wide-ranging: One man wanted the group to focus on state politics -- including the power for people to recall the governor if they need to -- while another was upset that his family home of 41 years had recently been foreclosed on.

One man emphasized that political focus should be "human needs, not corporate greed," which received a resounding applause from the group.

The underlying theme throughout most of the stories was that the Occupy movement isn't a left/right or Democrat/Republican battle. It was a tone that the movement represents everyone in the United States who wants his or her government back from the corporate influence that they say is becoming increasing prevalent.

Broward AFL-CIO delegate Tim Ross also addressed the crowd, as did a woman who told attendees that she'd been laid off twice by Merrill Lynch, then lost her home and took another job at a 50 percent pay cut.

"I'm mad as hell about all this," she said.

Scores of other people shared their stories, including another former Wall Street employee, a woman who went back to college and got two degrees -- and still remains unemployed after more than two years; an employee of AT&T; a high school senior and a handful of college graduates concerned about the state of student loans; a seasoned engineer; and other people who were upset for all types of reasons.

After about 90 minutes of the meeting, it was officially over, but many of the people remained to swap stories and continue the discourse. They also held another meeting this afternoon to keep the momentum going.

The first demonstration or march hasn't yet been scheduled, but you can find all the updates and information on the Occupy Fort Lauderdale website by clicking here.

You can also find the New Times photo slide show of last night's meeting by clicking here.


Follow The Pulp on Facebook and on Twitter: @ThePulpBPB. Follow Matthew Hendley on Facebook and on Twitter: @MatthewHendley.

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60 comments
concrete polishing cost
concrete polishing cost

 Wow! Thank you! I always wished to write during my website something like that.Look forward to reading your next site.

Chaz's Momma
Chaz's Momma

Are these whacko's gonna burn flags and poop on stuff like in NYC?

Claudia Alarcon
Claudia Alarcon

Occupy Fort Lauderdale:  First General Assembly - October 8, 2011

Awesome video!http://youtu.be/dyUm-BouaOg              

I truly believe that theseprotests are about raising our consciousness and awareness in America. Forme, this movement is about criticize by creating new businessmodels in our community and co-creating the kind of world we want our children,and grandchildren to live in. This occupy movement, is awake- up call for all of us.

Our greed, exploitation of resources, and exploitation of humanity will nolonger work as the standard way of "doing business" in thisworld. I am for new Entrepreneurs and Conscious Business leaders torise up to the challenge.

Please see the "ConsciousBusiness" movementhttp://youtu.be/qBpvehhor8Q

So…this is my proactive billboard message to the world …Goodbye Corporate greed,Government corruption and Wall Street abuses, and Hello MainStreet creative business models that have a "higher"purpose to serve society, the planet, employees, investors, and that fosterhuman flourishing at every level.  

ftl
ftl

Socialism?  

legal Guy
legal Guy

here's the thing.

basically I support the idea of change.  but there is no good plan to implementing any change.

-Except eliminate the fiat currency (money not based on gold, but the promise of a government to repay the holder).

fundamentally I agree with gold based currency. 

But it will really kill a lot of social programs.  most.

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

And why you are at it...

Pussy...  I think that is overvalued.  Perhaps you and Dr. Paul can get on that... 

legal Guy
legal Guy

was there a complete thought there?  I'm sorry you can't write a complete sentence.

go ahead a bitch and moan, if it makes you feel good. 

but I'm asking you a straight up honest question, and you call names...   good strategy!

 

nanook5
nanook5

death to free market capitalism. that's the "strategy" you're not getting.

FQS9000
FQS9000

No more Federal handouts for anyone.  That includes corporations, banks, farmers and sniveling baby birds.  If you want it, earn it. 

Chaz's Momma
Chaz's Momma

Awesome, start with Welfare, Food Stamps and Subsidized Housing.

Joel714
Joel714

IF THESE SAD EXAMPLES OF OUR DISAPPOINTED AND UNHAPPY POPULATION ARE SOOOO UNHAPPY, THEN WHY DON'T THEY EMIGRATE TO A PARADISE THAT WOULD SUIT THEIR IDEAS??CUBA FOR EXAMPLE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THEM.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

That is an idiotic "false alternative" argument. The alterntaive would be to remain here and fight to improve this country.

That is what they are doing.

Try not to think too much. You might hurt yourself.

Chaz's Momma
Chaz's Momma

That would require work and effort; something you smelly hippie lefties are not at all fond of.

Antonio Gonzalez
Antonio Gonzalez

 Thats right! Lefties aren't fond of work and effort, because things like repealing prohibition, African American civil right, Native American rights, child labor laws, direct election, workplace rights, and women's voting rights were  all brought forth by Conservatives....you people are nothing but pathetic lapdogs of the status quo. And momma, if you enjoy you're right to vote as a woman, maybe you should be thanking one of those "smelly hippie lefties" instead of just regurgitating ignorant, uneducated conservative nonsense....

nikem3
nikem3

The thing is no matter what you change, everyone still complains.  Everyone will always find something to complain about no matter what.

KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII

"You are right! But, if I offered you the opportunity to live here with this government or live in a country where they don't have the opportunity to vote and they get killed for what they believe in, I'd say we are well off."

I would rather stay and fix this one. Not a difficult choice.

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

My balls itch.  Now that is a complaint I think most people can get behind.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Agreed, but that is highly irrelevant to the issues that are presented today, namely the constitutional right of Americans to peacefully assemble and redress their grievances.

nikem3
nikem3

You are right! But, if I offered you the opportunity to live here with this government or live in a country where they don't have the opportunity to vote and they get killed for what they believe in, I'd say we are well off.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

At this point in history, there is plenty to complain about.

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

Joel;

Congratulations!

What you have discovered is an argument known as a False Choice Fallacy --you are either with us or against us. There is no middle ground. Apparently, your false choice is if you don’t support the wealthy (or at least appear to) in exactly the same fashion as everyone else, or (pity the fool) who has the gall to speak out and say WTF Chuck, then you must be unpatriotic. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Dissent is at the very essence of our democracy.

Look, when you showed up at the Tea Party rally with your BFG 9000 hidden in your Lehman Brothers fanny pack, you thought that was okay... But when folks on the other side of the spectrum speak up, you want to send them to Cuba?

Do you realize the foolishness of your statement?  You want to silence political dissent by sending those folks to a country that silences political dissent?

Way to go!!!  All those years on the 3rd grade debate team have come to pay off later on in life.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Oh, sorry. You already said that, and much better than I did. Busy, gotta run.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

No, I don't. I was just trying to explain to you that weather modification is in fact a technology that has existed for decades.

It does not mean Katrina had anything to do with this technology.

nikem3
nikem3

My point exactly, you believe that the government is killing millions of people and that the illuminati exists and all sorts of implausible theories.

nikem3
nikem3

I understand that not everyone in this group is like this, but a majority of the people I know who support this group also believe in every government conspiracy known to man.  Or they are the same people who blame the president for every problem that happens in the world.  I agree some things could be changed in the government, but I am very happy about where I live and our system.  You want things to change and items to get passed?  You can't have a republican house with a democratic president, it just doesn't work and most things don't get done.  I agree with Joel in a sense, if you are truly unhappy about the way is government is run to the point that you get angry and mad about it, there are plenty of countries who may have similar stances to yours.

Antonio Gonzalez
Antonio Gonzalez

Yes, if you have a problem with the way your country is being run...don't bother with free speech and practicing freedom of assembly, forget you're right to petition your government...just abandon your country and leave it in the shitty condition its been in! But if you love this country, stay and be complacent...its the American way...(?)

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

You might start by not conflating real issues with nonsensical statements.

P.S.  HAARP is above top secret, but that technology has existed longer than you can imagine. It is in the U.S. Congressional Record.

nikem3
nikem3

Come on now, people think Hurricane Katrina was made by the government using a weather machine.  Lets show some sort of intelligence here.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Which gov't conspiracy would you like me to confirm?

Are you sitting down?

legal Guy
legal Guy

can someone explain the goal in a twitter length post?

what I would like to know is what percentage of the OWS voted in the last election? 

the constitution gives the people the power to vote anyone in or out they want.  Now the meida has be heavily influenced by many different folks with an  addenda, but the power is there to change.  it requires distribution of information, rallying voters, and actually voting.

then following your elected person, and informing the voters if the person stayed the course or veered off the tracks into some lobbyist's  pocket.

the structure is already there, its a matter of information packaging, and voting. 

this group could follow the play book from the Gay and lesbian political engine.  when you look at wilton manners, its a excellent example for change.  everyone moves to a location, and starts voting in who they want.  next think you know you have a gay mayor on the county commission.   

then he feels the wealth and goes off the tracks. 

is there a better plan than voting in who you want?  well?

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Voting is useless. Both parties are puppets for the International Bankers and the Fortune 500.

That is the entire point of the protests. These are the people who are disatisfied with both parties, including the machiavellian Obama.

Every great social advance in history was accomplished legislatively, but only after people took to the streets.  (The labor movement, the suffragette movement, the civil rights movement, etc:)

Until the kleptocracy aka the two party system is broken, fuck voting.

legal Guy
legal Guy

well, FORM A NEW PARTY! 

'useless' is the no goal, no plan, no agenda format.... 

(your response is why this is doomed to fail).  Create a new party and vote them in. 

you have to convince me you can do a better job.  so far its just a bit@c:disqus h and moan meeting. 

Sure the government sux, but PLEASE tell me which government you prefer to this one?  Is there any country that manages the economy better  than here?    which? Venezuela?   Cuba? Russia? 

you can do better than this... 

Antonio Gonzalez
Antonio Gonzalez

Yes, lets look at the examples that confirm your argument...Or how about he other side of the spectrum, like France? Germany? How about Iceland before it decided to take a cue from us and deregulate their banks??? The problem with the conservative right is that they see no middle ground, reforming our current unfettered Capitalism does NOT automatically mean we will become North Korea...surprise!

KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII

Hopefully this column will make this a focal point for open discussion of the local "Occupy" event. Ride the Tri Rail to these events. The new Peace Train.

alan levy
alan levy

I dare you commie twats to go "occupy" Liberty City.

KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII

What would be the point of occupying Liberty City, other than the name of that community is quite appropriate and fitting for a protest event. This whole thing has much to do with Liberty, which is a concept many have either forgotten or do not comprehend. I suspect that those who choose to demonize this event(s), are the targets of the event and haven't figured that out yet and probably never will.

KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII

Wondering if I have been put on a shit list with Disqus and New Times, as my posts now need to be approved by a moderator. Have no idea if this will post. I think it has something to do with posting a link within the post.

StokeyBob
StokeyBob

The root reason for the, “Occupy er’s” and the “99% er’s”. Gaze upon it if you dare. Maybe this will help make the danger of fiat money clear. Imagine you and me are setting across from each other. We create enough money to represent all of the world's wealth. Each one of us has one SUPER Dollar in front of him. You own half of everything and so do I. I'm the government though. I get bribed into creating a Central Bank. You're not doing what I want you to be doing so I print up myself eight more SUPER Dollars to manipulate you with. All of a sudden your SUPER Dollar only represents one tenth of the wealth of the world! That isn't the only thing though. You need to get busy and get to work because YOU'VE BEEN STIFFED with the bill for the money I PRINTED UP to get YOU TO DO what I WANTED.

That to me represents what has been happening to the economy, and us, and why so many of our occupations just can't keep up with the fake money presses.

P.S. No matter how much real money people can put together to build their countries the way they want, there are those that can print up what ever it takes to dictate their way.

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

Shit, I long for the days of Super Dave Osbourne.

alan levy
alan levy

That's because you're a commie piece of shit.

Antonio Gonzalez
Antonio Gonzalez

 Hey, here's another socialist who lived in France.... BOO!

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

Actually, I am a card carrying Socialist, though I have friends who are Marxist.

So you can *finally* say to your buddies you've met a real live Socialist who happens to adore the French.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

You can see the actor who plays Super Dave on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm. He is hysterical as Larry Funkhowser. In real life, he is the brother of Albert Einstein, aka actor Albert Brooks.

StokeyBob
StokeyBob

There were some great comedians back in those days.

Smothers Brother's. The Laugh In.

Thelistgoeson.

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