Occupy Wall Street Coming To Hernando County

Spring Hill, Florida, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011: A small group of Hernando County residents met at Perkins restaurant and bakery at 12 noon Wednesday, on U.S. Highway 19 in Spring Hill, Florida, to organize an “Occupy Hernando County” event.

Tentative plans were made to hold the rally on Saturday, October 29th, from 10 AM to 2 PM, at the former K-Mart lot on U. S. Highway 19 ( 2468 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, FL 34606 ) simultaneous with the Farmer’s Green Market Saturday activities in the same location. Efforts are being made now to determine if permits are necessary.

Attendees included Joe Lemieux, Paul Boston, Lisa Holloway, Steve Zeledon, Brian Moore and Anita Stewart (as an advisor). Moore and Stewart have already participated in the “Occupy Tampa” event on October 6th.

It was agreed upon that no organizations or interest groups would sponsor the Hernando event so as not to obscure the clarity and message of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement.

The public is invited as individuals to express their own individual concerns, anger and frustrations. They are encouraged to bring their own signs, or make them at the event.

A general assembly will be held during the rally, affinity groups will be established if desired by the group, regarding the homeless, the unemployed, foreclosed homes, college students and graduates with bleak employment futures, middle class homeowners underwater, the poor, out-of-work construction workers, the uninsured in health matters, the worried seniors and elderly over their social security, etc.

There will also be a group formed to paint signs and make symbolic items for the participants to protest Wall Street greed; lack of accountability of financial institutions; unnecessary & irresponsible bank bailouts; government oversite failures, inept political, congressional and past and present administration financial and housing policies; and overall lack of leadership by the nation’s economic and political leaders.

The public will be invited to express and share in their anger and frustration, and to discuss any future actions to take or proclamations to be made by the group.

The rally will be a non-violent assembly and any aggressive action will not he tolerated.

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Occupy Hernando rally set for Oct. 29

By MICHAEL D. BATES | Tampa Tribune’s Hernando Today
Thursday, October 20, 2011, On-line

"Occupy" movements have sprung up throughout the nation, all modeled after the original Wall Street movement.

Get ready, Hernando, one is coming to your county.

One of the organizers, civic activist Brian Moore, said these movements have been co-opted by various people to push their own agendas.

Not this one, he said.

Occupy Hernando was born at high noon this past Wednesday inside the Perkins Restaurant and Bakery off U.S. 19. A group of residents, including activist Brian Moore, laid the groundwork during lunch at the well-known corporate chain in Spring Hill.

A rally will be held on Oct. 29 in Spring Hill to bring attention to the cause. To keep the message pure, the group agreed upon that no organizations or interest groups would sponsor the Hernando event.

And what is the message?

Although many-tentacled, Moore said it boils down to these major precepts: stop corporate greed, make financial institutions accountable and stop putting the onus on the backs of taxpayers.

Moore said there needs to be a cap on how much a company or business makes. When asked what that profit threshold should be, Moore said "within reason."

And Moore said the profit cap should mostly affect larger corporations who had a role in such things as the housing collapse.

Moore said Occupy Hernando is against banks that impose service charges on the number of times customers use their ATM cards.

Members, he said, need to pressure their legislators and county commissioners to support efforts that wipe out excessive regulations that punish people.

As an example, Moore cited attempts by Citizens Insurance to raise sinkhole coverage an average 429 percent in Florida.

"People are angry and frustrated with the collapse of the economy and they put the blame on Wall Street and the policymakers in Washington," Moore said. "Wall Street, financial institutions, banks, hedge funds and insurance companies — all are part of the financial industry that really played into the game of speculating on the housing boom and with the collapse of the housing industry which led to so many foreclosures."

During the rally, organizers will form separate groups focusing on the homeless, unemployed, college students and graduates with bleak employment opportunities, and middle class homeowners whose houses are financially underwater and others.

Another group will be responsible for painting signs and making symbolic items for the movement.

Moore said he and other Occupy organizers — including Joe Lemieux, Paul Boston, Lisa Holloway, Steve Zeledon and Anita Stewart — met at Perkins to get the movement off the ground. He hopes more join the cause during the rally.

When asked whether meeting at a large corporate chain restaurant is contrary to the Occupy movement's ideals, Moore chuckled and agreed it may seem strange.

Initially, the members proposed meeting in individuals' homes but they wanted to avoid the appearance of secrecy, he said.

At Perkins, Moore said they gathered around a large table in the dining area and others could hear them discussing.

"It was all in the open," Moore said.

And corporate chain or no, Moore said he ordered bacon and eggs.

The rally will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29 at the former Kmart parking lot at 2468 U.S. 19 and will occur simultaneous with the Farmer's Green Market.

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