On Saturday, about 45 people showed up for the first Occupy Tuscaloosa demonstration.
Occupy participant Joe Manns said, “We who are protesting today are in the 99% of people who have been hurt by the brand of “crony capitalism” practiced by many of the financial institutions on Wall Street. We don’t object to anyone’s success, however, we do object to someone who uses honestly earned money entrusted to them to create "back-room deals" in order to achieve financial gain at the expense of everyone else.” Media liaison John Earl gave the following report:
Occupy Tuscaloosa has had five General Assemblies. We are a very democratic group with no leadership hierarchies. Our decisions are based on a vote of those attending the GA. I volunteered to be the media liaison. Other people have joined other various committees.
My opinions, like those of everyone else in Occupy Tuscaloosa, are my own. One goal of Occupy Tuscaloosa is to support other occupy groups by showing solidarity. I think that everyone agrees with the idea of communicating the facts about how the national financial sector has distorted real capitalism into a form of "crony capitalism." that has crippled our economy. People have lost their homes and jobs because of this.
We are exploring how people in this community have been affected by the financial catastrophe that occurred in 2008. It was the result of a culmination of deregulatory measures that began decades ago. The Bible condemns usury, and so many banking practices, such as the unreasonable late fees and the amount of interest charged on credit cards seem to fit that description. Hopefully people through Occupy Tuscaloosa will find a way to voice their concerns.
The flyer we handed out said: says, "We would like to hear your ideas. All reasonable voices are welcome to take part in the dialogue," and invites interested parties to attend our next meeting.
There have been individuals who have attended a General Assembly who have expressed concerns over local issues. Their input has been appreciated. As of now, Occupy Tuscaloosa is not dealing with local concerns unless they are a result of what has happened nationally. Wall Street in New York City is the locus of our our nation's economic malaise. There is nothing equivalent anywhere else in America.