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Occupy Murfreesboro still committed to cause

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Occupy Murfreesboro still committed to cause | Rachel Davies,Connor Moss,Joan Hill,Occupy Murfreesboro,Murfreesboro, Scott Martindale, Politics, Jase Short, Democrats

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Despite the recent abandonment of the Occupy Murfreesboro encampment and inner squabbles among various participants, several protesters said Tuesday the group plans to remain active in the future.

“We’re not done,” said Rachel Davies, a junior at MTSU majoring in biochemistry. “There are several projects in the works, and we plan to come back stronger than ever.”

Davies said Occupy Murfreesboro members decided to voluntarily break down the encampment over the weekend, following a general assembly meeting Friday.

“We’re not trying to fight with the City of Murfreesboro,” she said. “So, we are discussing how best to occupy without making city leaders so upset.”

Others acknowledged that maintaining the encampment gradually became more difficult because of the holidays, in addition to the fact many Occupy Murfreesboro members are MTSU students.

“We have lost a lot of people due to various factors,” said Scott Martindale, an MTSU maintenance worker. “Given the circumstances, we decided it was best to spend this time reassessing how effective our current method has been this past month. We wanted to refocus on defining our goals as a movement.”

Both Martindale and Davies also noted that members faced their first in-house hurdle – learning how to effectively manage the group’s message and operations because it functions as a leaderless movement that comprises multiple political perspectives.

“The reason I didn’t participate in the encampment is because the goals remained unclear at the time,” said Connor Moss, who is no longer actively involved with Occupy Murfreesboro.

“However, the Occupy movement consists of numerous viewpoints, and although some people may disagree at times, I do think activity will pick up once again when the weather is warmer,” said Moss, who graduated in December from MTSU with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

In December, some current and former Occupy Murfreesboro members distanced themselves from the Rutherford County Democratic Party’s endorsement, reiterating the group’s initial stance that the movement was nonpartisan.

“I have always maintained that Occupy Murfreesboro (protesters) should remain free from partisan politics because many of their concerns are similar to groups like the Tea Party,” Moss said.

During an interview last month, MTSU student Jase Short said he personally believed local Democrats should have remained impartial to the movement because the endorsement only solidified the notion that political parties are primarily concerned with gaining more power.

“What is important for Occupy Murfreesboro is continued opposition to the two-party system’s hold on political power, here and across the nation,” said Short, a member of Solidarity, a socialist student-run organization. “Wall Street has one party with two faces: the Democrats and Republicans alike.”

However, several fellow protesters quickly pushed back against those who publicly criticized the Democrats’ involvement, arguing they believed the support was a positive development for the movement.

“I didn’t see a problem with it,” Davies said, noting she has usually voted for Democratic candidates in the past, “but that doesn’t mean Occupy Murfreesboro is entirely aligned with the Democratic Party.”

Although some well-known Democrats, including Executive Committee member Joan Hill, have joined the Occupy Murfreesboro movement, Davies said she believes they are involved as individuals – not as representatives of the local Democratic Party.

Hill, who is an attorney and education representative for United Steelworkers International in Nashville, sponsored the resolution endorsing Occupy Murfreesboro.

“Activism for a particular movement can be separated from a political party,” Davies said.

Even though Martindale said he had no problems with the Democrats’ endorsement, he understands why some protesters were quick to disapprove of the party’s support.

“There is a fear the Democrats would co-opt us like the Tea Party,” he said, adding no one from the Democratic Party has attempted to takeover the movement.

Moss said political participation is time consuming, and it requires long hours of tedious work. He said, however, any inner squabbles are a normal part of the process.

“This is what democracy looks like – it isn’t pretty,” Moss said. “Everyone knows what they want, and people within the Occupy (Murfreesboro movement) are in the process of ironing out those differences.”
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Connor Moss, Democrats, Jase Short, Joan Hill, Murfreesboro, Occupy Murfreesboro, Politics, Rachel Davies, Scott Martindale
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Members Opinions:
January 05, 2012 at 11:57am
Guessing the banner was made using materials liberated from MTSU.

Why don't you all just go back to college, study and change the world by making contributions, rather than sitting on your butt and protesting the world as a whole. Change begins with people willing to do something to form change. You are asking that companies share their wealth. Still stinks of socialism. Why don't you all earn money and share it, rather than wanting to take what others have and make them give it away...
January 05, 2012 at 5:32pm
I'm might be stating the obvious to other readers...

But I'm starting to wonder if our other local paper is trying to keep readers in the dark. They haven't mentioned Ms. Hill is a Democrat once. Why not?
January 05, 2012 at 10:15pm
Hi, this is Rachel Davies from the article. Mr. Church, were you aware that there are over 4 job seekers for every single job opening? It's not as simple as making money and sharing it. Personally, I am enrolled full-time at MTSU, and I also have two part time jobs. I have devoted a lot of energy and effort to this activism and hardly consider it "sitting on [my] butt and protesting the world as a whole". Rather, I'm trying to follow the examples of heroes like Gandhi and Dr. MLK Jr., by standing up for social justice and against inequality. Also, if you google search the OWS declaration, you'll see we do have specific reasons for our protest - not just "the world as a whole".
January 08, 2012 at 8:27am
@ Rachel..well said, but I think if one WANTS a job (maybe not what one thinks one should get paid, especially out of college) a job can be found. Recently, I've been encourage to hear locally all the jobs opening up with Opry Mills back in swing and M'boro's new Amazon distribution center opening. There ARE jobs, some don't want to do such as even manual labor jobs that if one wanted to work VERY hard...one would find mucho dinero. That's the issue at hand.

BTW....Adbusters also funds this larger movement at hand across the nation. Have you checked out Adbusters.com.......supported by the 1%....Bill Gates, Soros, the Ford Foundation.

January 08, 2012 at 8:30am
Also, the homeless are even working...I bought one of their papers the other day...thanks to an article I read about it here! :)
January 08, 2012 at 12:29pm
“We’re not done,” said Rachel Davies, a junior at MTSU majoring in biochemistry. “There are several projects in the works, and we plan to come back stronger than ever.”
Umm...yeah, you're done. This fizzled out quicker than we all anticipated. This "movement" was an absolute joke from the beginning. These local clowns couldn't come up with an original idea if their life depended on it. Every last one of them supported the current administration yet refuse to acknowledge his involvement with their perceived enemy "wall street". They instead uselessly repeat their annoying and asinine chant outside local bank branches proclaiming "the banks got bailed out the people got sold out". Hello? You are the same clowns that ridiculed the Tea Party for standing up to the bailouts proclaiming then that "they're too big too fail" and now believe everyone has forgotten? Please. The idiot you clowns put into office endorsed both TARP programs yet you're protesting BOA? Where were you when conservatives left BOA years ago over giving illegal aliens CC's?
The lack of integrity displayed by the individuals who make up this rag tag band of losers exemplifies exactly why they can never go anywhere. Between "Jace lives in his fathers million dollar home in Brentwood Short" and "Rachel lies about having two jobs Davies" heading up this outlandishly ridiculous ordeal, everyone involved failed.
January 09, 2012 at 11:25am
Was smiling as I read about Ms Davies saying they are coming back. Guess there cause was not important enough to stay with it. If it is so important, why don't you quit school, turn in your money being given to you to attend school, save your parents money and just become a bum for Occupy Unemployment. The free enterprise system works. Protesting something just becauise you don't like it, is not a cause. It is still called socialism when protestors want others to give away their money because they don't think it is fair for them to make too much. Many, many people spent and charged their way into debt. How many bail-outs have been given so far, only to find many went to casinoes, bought drugs and cars with it. There are jobs out there, but none that allow people to make money and not have to work. Guessing us "clowns" are helping to pay in some ways to pay your biochemistry degree. Maybe we should cut off your school funds and that would solve the problem you protest. You are just another free hand-out demanding more.
January 10, 2012 at 10:04am
@ jimmychurch...had a thought the other day. Boy, I wish the silly occupants would leave and another exciting court case article would come out.....sort of boring us being on the same side with this one! LOL :) Nice post, BTW!
January 12, 2012 at 2:21pm
"Although some well-known Democrats, including Executive Committee member Joan Hill, have joined the Occupy Murfreesboro movement,"

JRB2429, this was mentioned. It is in passive voice so I wanted to point this out since it was a longer article
January 13, 2012 at 1:17pm
postlicker...oops postlooker22 and/or jimmychurch....I only ask because I think you might know....any news on a court case? Does the Post need to re track their statement on the top 10 articles of 2011....where it stated it was NOT over to avoid looking too aligned with the sides with deep pockets? just a thought. I sort of hope I'm right on that.
January 13, 2012 at 2:45pm
It is not over.
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