Occupy Wall Street anniversary celebrated with peaceful march - KPTV - FOX 12

Occupy Wall Street anniversary celebrated with peaceful march in Portland

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Demonstrators marked the anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement with a peaceful march through southeast Portland Monday afternoon.

A group of close to 75 people started marching near the east end of the Burnside Bridge and wound its way to St. Francis Park for a short rally.

Many demonstrators held signs bearing the photos of former General Motors employees who are protesting in Colombia. The protestors there say they were fired from the plant about getting injured. Some have sewn their mouths shut and gone on hunger strikes.

The Portland group, which stayed on the sidewalks and obeyed traffic signals, stopped outside the Chevrolet dealership on Southeast Ankeny for a short time before continuing.

"Occupy Wall Street is such a great example of people coming together and working towards the changes that we can make," said one of the march organizers, Paige Shell-Spurling. "Realizing that we don't have to be spectators on that side, but that we can be active agents of that change. And that's exactly what we're doing here today. That's exactly what needs to happen for General Motors to do what's right with these workers."

The anniversary of the Occupy Portland movement is Oct. 6.

Thousands marched through downtown that day before settling into Chapman Square and Lownsdale Square. Hundreds camped in the parks for more than a month until the city shut the encampment down.

Despite that, members say the Occupy Portland movement has continued.

"Occupy Portland, people really recognize it for its physical presence," said Cameron Whitten, an activist who camped at the park. "But the importance of Occupy is how we culturally change people. And that's something that hasn't changed at all."

He said the movement has stayed alive through meetings, demonstrations and individual actions.

Shell-Spurling said Monday's march was evidence.

"Occupy is alive and well. I think it's going to grow even stronger through the fall," she said. "I think this is a good example of it. We put out a call a few days ago and we've already got a mass of people."

A march and rally are planned Oct. 6 at Shemanski Park. "Occupy Portland, Not Afghanistan" will be held from 12 to 5 p.m.

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