The continuing Wall Street protest in New York City has spread to various other parts of the country, and Monday afternoon activists gathered in downtown Springfield.
Springfield's financial district consists of a federal office building, the Mass Mutual high-rise, a handful of local and national banks and a few small businesses. The sidewalk of the two-block area was crowded with about 2 dozen protesters gathered to support the Occupy Wall Street protest movement.
"I miss having any kind of social, political activism. And we got a turnout today and I am heartened."
Glen Barr of Springfield is the former spokesman for ACORN. He and the other protestors are holding signs with various slogans – "Tax Wall Street," "Corporations are not people" and "Save the American Dream," to name a few. Organizer Denise Convoy says corporate greed will no longer be tolerated and the goal of the movement is to convince elected officials to stop bickering and focus on measures to benefit the middle class.
"We don't need to have cuts of welfare and Medicaid and Medicare. There is money in this country, the problem is that the money is in the greater 1 percent of the population as well as in the corporations."
Because of the holiday, most banks, along with Senator John Kerry's office, were closed, so were unable to respond to the protest. According to its Web site, the Occupy Wall Street movement began in July, with a call to action from the organization AdBusters. September 17th was the date set for protestors to travel to lower Manhattan, and set up tents, kitchens and peaceful barricades along Wall Street. It's been almost a month and protestors are still asking President Obama to form a Commission to end the influence they deem money has over elected officials in Washington.