Occupy Montclair Demonstration: "Economic Inequality Destroys Nations"

About 10 people gathered at the corner of Bloomfield and North Fullerton avenues on Saturday morning


Under bright sunny skies, environmental activist Pat Kenschaft and about nine other people demonstrated at the corner of Bloomfield and South Fullerton avenues Saturday morning as part of a local Occupy Wall Street movement.

Kenschaft has admitted that the goals of the group are fluid, but the messages conveyed by the group's placards were clear. One sign said "Economic Inequality Destroys Nations" while another said "I'll Believe Corporations Are People When Texas Executes One."

Similar demonstrations have been organized by Kenschaft in Montclair in the past. In November, about 30 people turned out on Church Street, carrying placards. In December, about a dozen people showed up.

On Saturday morning, only about 10 people were on hand at 10:30 a.m. When asked if interest in the movement was dwindling, Kenschaft said she expected more people to arrive as the morning went on.

Although Kenschaft said the overall goals of the movement are fluid, she personally believes that: "We need a much higher marginal tax rate on the rich. When I was young, it was 91 percent; now it is 35 percent. Many of those affected agree; they too suffer when roads are bumpy, bridges fall, and health and environmental codes aren't enforced. Over two dozen people with incomes over a million dollars a year demonstration in Washington, D.C. recently with the motto 'Tax me more.' Requiring the same Social Security rate for all earned income and taxing all income at the same level as earned income would help."

Last month, The New York Times reported that, with donations to the original Occupy Wall Street dropping significantly and money starting to run low, the movement has been forced to implement a partial spending freeze to make sure enough money is available for crucial functions like bailing protesters out of jail.

With the encampment’s eviction from Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan in November and the subsequent decline in activity and visibility, Occupy Wall Street’s fund-raising efforts have entered a dry spell.

By Janaury, the movement had spent more than half of the $700,000 in donations it had received since October, leaving a balance of about $300,000.

Since Occupy Wall Street took over Zuccotti Park on Sept. 17, the movement has spread across the country. But the cold weather has taken a toll on demonstrations.

To find out more about the local Occupy movement, go to the group's Facebook page here.

Wayne Robbins February 18, 2012 at 06:01 PM
I believe in a few of the goals, yet unclear for most, of the Occupy movement - however - suggesting people be executed is going to far..that's how you lose interest in the group - c'mon Pat, change those signs.
profwilliams February 18, 2012 at 07:13 PM
What? No "forgive student debt" signs? This can't be a "real" Occupy protest without one. Though the Texas execution sign IS very funny.
Deadeye February 18, 2012 at 08:11 PM
The 15 minutes are over. Time to go now. Hope nobody breaks a hip on the way back to the senior trolley.
Right of Center February 18, 2012 at 08:52 PM
What an anemic display. I think if you've only got 6 signs and two are repeats, you've got a message problem.
Deirdre M. Day February 24, 2012 at 10:08 PM
I am disturbed that this "local" coverage devotes fully four paragraphs to a rather biased evaluation of the condition of a National movement. If this writer wished to go beyond the limits of Montclair coverage she should have done something more than just rely on the New York Tmes for information. It would be one thing if the writer had availed herself of primary sources, like the NYCGA or even spoke to someone within the movement (though certainly this is beyond the purview of the Patch)but quite another to regurgitate a single New York Times article and pass it off as news is something else indeed. The idea that the health of the movement can be tied to the amount of money in its coffers is a rather reductive and narrow-minded position. In fact, this illustrates the kind of mindset that Occupy itself is fighting. Any reading of the minutes of the General Assembly (which are easily found) would be a bit more useful than relying upon the NYT for your information. But if you are tied to the mainstream media for your sources, I would direct you to the Wall Street Journal's coverage of the same issue and particularly to the quote from Michael Levitin, editor of the Occupied Wall Street Journal, where he asserts that there is no trouble raising money. It is obvious that donations are related to actions and during the winter the actions have been smaller. I believe in the coming weeks and months you will see that Occupy is far from anemic.


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