They're pissed off at American greed and social injustice. They're relatively leaderless but well connected through social media. And they're gonna Occupy Phoenix on October 15.
The "Occupy Wall Street" movement that led to 700 or so arrests in New York City over the weekend is catching like wildfire, with more left-leaning protests planned for major cities in the upcoming days and weeks. Crowds began camping outside Los Angeles City Hall on Saturday.
The Phoenix version is ramping up with a Web page, plus info feeds on Facebook and Twitter.
According to the Facebook site, organizers want protesters to "flood into Cesar Chavez Plaza" on October 15. Minutes from a meeting of organizers yesterday, however, seem to indicate the group intends to march to the State Capitol the day before. From the minutes: 26) Start at the capital and end at cesar chavez plaza.
27) End Friday march at 5pm so the news can cover it.
If you know more details about what's going on, feel free to comment below. Plus, we'll update this story when we learn more.
One author on the Facebook site implies that "Occupy Phoenix" will naturally focus, in part, on Southwestern issues:
After tonight's meeting I came to a realization, "Occupy Phoenix" means something different for everyone, in particular that this land has already been occupied while we have turned a blind eye. We are in solidarity with the Diné and O'odham Nation who have been fighting this colonial system for hundreds of years. To fight the banks and wallstreet is to fight colonialism! In addition there are already struggles in Arizona to support. There is ongoing resistance the CANAMEX/NAFTA Highway projects, and the Arizona Snowbowl. Stand with indigenous resistance to colonialism, and against the destruction of the earth for profit and recreation.
Other minutes from the meeting suggest that "Occupy" protesters may want to have talks with the local Tea Party, hold a "Day of Rage" event at the Capitol and "legally occupy the streets and march perpetually."
Unlike protests in, say, Yemen or Egypt, the "Occupy Wall Street" movement supporters aren't asking for anything as specific as regime change, (which we get every few years, anyway.) Their demands are sort of vague.
But these people are digging in and it seems likely their efforts will have an effect on the overall political conversation in America.
Laine Baker, an administrator of the Occupy Phoenix Facebook site, wrote to us after this post was published and said the Tea Party won't be contacted, after all.
"I am unsure as to why information about us contacting the Tea Party is in our meeting minutes, as we did not as I am aware," she wrote. "We have eight admins on our page which can sometimes cause confusion. Perhaps the issue was discussed among the poster and a few other attendees. Regardless, we will not be contacting the Tea Party."
Laine wrote back again to thank us for that update, and clarify the timing of the march and "occupation:"
"The protest begins on Saturday, however, there is a march on Friday preceding the occupation primarily to rally support and get the attention of local news outlets. We will end our march outside of Cesar Chavez Plaza. Also, it actually turns out that only one attendee of the meeting mentioned reaching out to the Tea Party, but it was immediately dismissed. We had more than 60-65 members in attendance last night."