Occupy Michigan? Protestors hope to bring message here
Compost heaps are seen in Zuccotti Park, where the "Occupy Wall Street" protests are currently taking place (AP Photo/Andrew Burton)
FLINT, MI (WNEM/AP) -
As the Occupy Wall Street movement gains momentum around the nation, it's also picking up steam in Mid-Michigan.
WNEM TV5 has learned that organizers plan to hold an Occupy Flint demonstration Friday in downtown Flint. The event is set to kick off at noon in front of Bank of America on Saginaw Street. Nearly 600 people are involved in the event on Facebook.
It's not known how many protestors will show up, but Flint Mayor Dayne Walling says he supports the movement.
"They need to come out and have their voices heard," said Walling. "We commend those who come out and we will have police here to protect them."
A similar protest could make its way to Saginaw Township. A new Facebook page called "Occupy Saginaw" has popped up, and it calls on users to protest next Wednesday outside of the Bank of America on Bay Road.
The page says the protestors will meet at Saginaw Valley State University and travel to the bank together. Right now at least 20 people say they'll attend the event.
The Occupy Wall Street movement, which began last month with a small number of young people pitching a tent in front of the New York Stock Exchange, has expanded nationally and drawn a wide variety of activists, including retirees, union members and laid-off workers.
As new groups continue to organize, demonstrators have marched in Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Anchorage, Alaska, carrying signs with slogans such as "Get money out of politics" and "I can't afford a lobbyist."
The protests are in some ways the liberal flip side of the tea party movement, which was launched in 2009 in a populist reaction against the bank and auto bailouts and the $787 billion economic stimulus plan.
But while tea party activists eventually became a crucial part of the Republican coalition, the Occupy Wall Street protesters are cutting President Barack Obama little slack. They say Obama failed to crack down on the banks after the 2008 mortgage meltdown and financial crisis.
"He could have taken a much more populist, aggressive stance at the beginning against Wall Street bonuses, and exacting certain change from bailing out the banks," said Michael Kazin, a Georgetown University history professor and author of "American Dreamers," a history of the left. "But ultimately, the economy has not gotten much better, and that's underscored the frustration on both the right and the left."
Obama on Thursday acknowledged the economic insecurities fueling the nearly 3-week-old Wall Street protests. But he pinned responsibility on the financial industry and on congressional Republicans he says have blocked his efforts to kick-start job growth.
"I think people are frustrated and the protesters are giving voice to a more broad-based frustration about how our financial system works," he said at a nationally televised news conference. "The American people understand that not everybody has been following the rules, that Wall Street is an example of that ... and that's going to express itself politically in 2012 and beyond."
Participants in the Occupy Wall Street protests say they have no leaders but are making decisions by consensus.
Copyright 2011 WNEM. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
How do you feel about the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations?
Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:
Sunday, April 20 2014 3:03 PM EDT2014-04-20 19:03:15 GMT
Police in a northeastern Detroit suburb say they have found a man's decomposed body inside a portable toilet at a Lake St. Clair boat launching site. St. Clair Shores police tell WDIV-TV they think theMore >
Police in a northeastern Detroit suburb say they have found a man's decomposed body inside a portable toilet at a Lake St. Clair boat launching site.More >
Sunday, April 20 2014 3:53 PM EDT2014-04-20 19:53:41 GMT
Authorities are investigating a deadly plane crash. Officials tell TV 5 a small plane went down Saturday afternoon in a field in Shiawassee County. Two people are confirmed dead. Officials are still onMore >
Airplane crashed onto Mid-Michigan field Saturday.More >
Sunday, April 20 2014 6:17 PM EDT2014-04-20 22:17:52 GMT
Pittsburgh police say a man threw hard boiled eggs at his girlfriend during an Easter egg decorating party, then tried to attack police. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Sunday that 27-year-oldMore >
Pittsburgh police say a man threw hard boiled eggs at his girlfriend during an Easter egg decorating party, then tried to attack police.More >
Saturday, April 19 2014 6:15 PM EDT2014-04-19 22:15:00 GMT
Michigan State Police Troopers of the Tri City Post are investigating a fatal motorcycle crash. The crash occurred at 3:55 p.m. on April 18. The motorcycle was traveling at a high speed when the driverMore >
Michigan State Police Troopers of the Tri City Post are investigating a fatal motorcycle crash.More >
Sunday, April 20 2014 1:56 PM EDT2014-04-20 17:56:06 GMT
Easter is marking the re-opening of a Pontiac church that went through several years as a nightclub. The Oakland Press says it's taken $1 million to transform the former Clutch Cargo's nightclub intoMore >
Easter is marking the re-opening of a Pontiac church that went through several years as a nightclub.More >
Sunday, April 20 2014 4:06 PM EDT2014-04-20 20:06:49 GMT
A skull that was passed down through generations of a northern Michigan family has been turned over to an Indian group. Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Burkovich tells the Traverse City Record-Eagle thatMore >
A skull that was passed down through generations of a northern Michigan family has been turned over to an Indian group.More >
Sunday, April 20 2014 12:34 PM EDT2014-04-20 16:34:49 GMT
Road construction is scheduled to begin on I-75 in Genesee County on Monday, April 21. Construction crews will resurface 19 miles from the Genesee/Oakland County line to the I-475 north junction. ThisMore >
Road construction is scheduled to begin on I-75 in Genesee County on Monday, April 21.More >